Mac's Safety Space: The ABCs of Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance

Historically, we generally don’t spend much time in the realm of the management of medical equipment, but when one of the primary shot-callers in the accreditation world brings attention it in the ambulatory care patient environment, it makes sense to share this information. And, taking into consideration the “carryover” of these into the realm of utility systems equipment, all the more reason to chat about some of the particulars. Truly, when it comes to equipment in the healthcare environment, particularly in ambulatory settings, it’s really tough to separate responsibilities, etc. into “neat” packages. While the management of the physical environment in healthcare is very much a shared responsibility, it is perhaps most acutely felt in ambulatory settings.

Herman Mackenzie, director of the Standards Interpretation Group at The Joint Commission, recently published an article in OR Today magazine. Although a fairly brief read, he makes some very interesting and compelling points regarding lessons learned during COVID and the continued importance of ensuring an appropriately maintained care environment, including the the ambulatory setting, is a priority for healthcare organizations. I have advocated a focus on ensuring we memorialize the lessons learned during COVID before the next emergency takes hold and I think this article does a fine job of looking back on the past couple of years while placing that look in the context of the future.

A lot of this backstage stuff can be a tough sell when it comes to budget time (more on that next week), but even new buildings need to receive appropriate care—keeping things running is not just a good idea, it’s a moral and operational imperative.

About the Author: Steve MacArthur is a safety consultant with Chartis Clinical Quality Solutions (formerly known as The Greeley Company) in Danvers, Mass. He brings more than 30 years of healthcare management and consulting experience to his work with hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care facilities across the country. He is the author of HCPro's Hospital Safety Director's Handbook and is contributing editor for Healthcare Safety Leader. Contact Steve at