Minimizing Waterborne Pathogens - Ice Machines

What are the requirements for ice machines in health care settings?

Ice machines are considered utilities system components that require a maintenance strategy per The Joint Commission standard EC.02.05.01 EP 1 through 7, and EP 14. Per these elements of performance, the organization evaluates and determines maintenance activities and intervals of maintenance based upon manufacturer's recommendations or an alternate equipment maintenance (AEM) program. Ice machines that provide patient nutrition are high-risk utility system components since they have an infection control risk as described within EC.02.05.01, where the organization is to minimize pathogenic biological agents in domestic cold water systems. Therefore, the hospital should pay particular attention to evaluate the requirement for infection prevention through activities such as supply water filtration, disinfection of ice machine internal parts, cleanliness of ice machine bins, build-up of water deposits, etc. It is important for a hospital to know the quality of their water service, the condition of their domestic water distribution system, and the design/condition of their ice machine equipment in order to establish an effective maintenance strategy. If maintenance tasks and frequencies are not established by manufacturer's recommendations, assessment described by EC.02.05.01 is to be used to determine an AEM program to satisfy the organization's particular circumstances. Once established, schedule maintenance is to be completed in accordance with EC.02.05.05. [EC.02.05.01]
Last updated on April 11, 2016
Manual: Laboratory
Chapter: Environment of Care EC

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