Since this is the season for evergreens…

By Steve MacArthur, Hospital Safety Consultant

…let’s close out 2022 with a little eyewash station madness.

In the December 2022 edition of Perspectives (do I need to tell you who publishes this? I think not…) there is something of a rollback from a previous (March 2021, to be precise) utterance that organizations can self-determine the frequency of which they test emergency eyewash equipment, which is based on an edition of ANSI Z-358.1 Standard for Emergency Eyewash & Shower Equipment that (apparently) allowed for that self-determination (I don’t think I ever saw that edition of Z-358.1, but I can’t say that I’ve seen everything).

At any rate, if you are not on the weekly checks for emergency eyewash equipment, then you should probably modify the process to reflect what is currently being enforced. Not a big deal, necessarily, but it is a “deal”, so I wanted to make sure that folks were in the loop on the updated guidance.

Moving on to all things housekeeping, our friends at Healthcare Facilities Today pointed out that cleaning practices in hospitals are in need of improvement. It was a fairly small sample size (51 respondents from around the globe), but I do think that there is some merit in looking at what cleaning quality indicators you might have in place and whether they are accurately gauging the effectiveness of cleaning.

I know from my travels that over the past little while (even before the onset of the pandemic) resources, retention, and resources (again) have been a struggle for a lot of folks in the environmental services world. I wish I had a ready solution for this, but I don’t know that I’ve encountered anyone that has “solved” what is a very complex equation. Clearly, collaboration, coordination and consistency will get us there, but we seem to be a ways away from where we need to be.

As a final thought for this week, anyone who has traveled to the more remote areas of our country might well know that there is a very big difference between hospitals in the “big city” areas and those in the rural portions of our nation. To that end, the folks at the Rural Health Information Hub have assembled a toolkit to assist rural providers in their emergency preparedness activities: Even some of you city slicker folks might find some useful information as you roll out emergency preparedness activities and such to your more remote providers. There’s no reason to think that we all can’t make improvements (and remember—even incremental improvements are improvements) and this might be just the ticket for your smaller or remote practices.

And on that note, I wish each of you and yours a most joyous season and a positively delightful 2023 (here’s hoping wishes come true…)

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