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Fans - Patient Care Areas

Are fans allowed in patient care areas, laboratories, or other support areas in an organization?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

There are no specific Joint Commission standards that prohibit the use of fans. While fans may be used for additional comfort of the patient, such as those with respiratory distress or post cardiac surgery, they may indicate to surveyors that a temperature control or ventilation problem exists, as described by EC.02.05.01. Space temperature issues can impact equipment, patient testing results, and overall patient care. This concern usually arises after adding equipment or use of the space without increasing the capability of space cooling/ventilation. The organization should perform a risk assessment per EC.02.01.01 that includes the most appropriate persons available to the organization.

Examples of assessment concerns could include:
  • Risks pertinent to the needs of the patient
  • Ventilation and/or temperature concerns for equipment
  • Airborne particles/contamination that may impact patient care, procedure/treatment processes or equipment operation; maintaining the cleanliness of fan blades/housing; possible tripping hazard(s) created by cords; etc.
Infection control should be a key element in the assessment process. The survey process will evaluate the risk assessment for effectiveness and validate proper implementation of the resulting policy/practice. Adjustments to the implemented process are to be made as needed.
Manual: Ambulatory
Chapter: Environment of Care EC
First published date: April 11, 2016 This Standards FAQ was first published on this date.
This page was last updated on October 22, 2021

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