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Medical Equipment - Storage of Needles and Syringes

What are the Joint Commission requirements regarding storage of needles and syringes?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

The Joint Commission does not have a standard to address needle and syringe storage. These items should be kept secure to protect from tampering or theft. A secure area may be described as an area where the staff is providing patient care, or staff is present and effectively ensures that access to the area or storage device is restricted to authorized individuals, and patients and visitors are not allowed access without the supervision or presence of a health care professional.   

Organizations are expected to implement a process to identify safety and security risks associated with the environment of care that could affect patients, staff, and other individuals. Conducting a risk assessment is a helpful way of identifying associated risks and to assist you with developing and implementing a storage process specific to your organization's specific situation.   

Based on risks identified, organizations may determine that use of a locking device or storage unit may be needed to prevent unauthorized access to these supplies. The introductory section of the Leadership (LD) chapter provides an example of a pro-active risk assessment model that an organization may use.  However, this specific approach is not mandated as there are other risk assessment tools available that may better meet the needs of the organization.   Other examples may include a root cause analysis, failure mode and effect analysis, plan/do/check/act process, etc., or combinations and variations.  

Reference EC.02.06.01 EP 1 
Last updated on March 19, 2021
Manual: Hospital and Hospital Clinics
Chapter: Environment of Care EC

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