Med Gas Testing Has Changed
Posted on Jul 15, 2013
The CMS, TJC, and NFPA 99, 2012 move toward risk based, predictive and reliability centered maintenance is in full swing. The goal is to design maintenance programs that increase reliability and cost effectiveness. Medical gas outlets/inlets testing frequency is the part of med gas testing that is most affected by this methodology. It can be the most costly and if not performed with proper frequencies can lead to poor performance in high use, critical care areas.
On December 2, 2011 CMS issued a memo to its surveyors that in certain situations hospitals can perform preventive maintenance on non-critical equipment less often than recommended by the manufacturer based on a risk assessment. Critical equipment is not included in this memo.
CMS then released its interpretive guide 482.41.(c)(2) … if the hospital is adjusting maintenance activity frequencies below those that are recommended by the manufacturer, such adjustments must be based upon a systematic evidence-based assessment, the hospital must document this assessment
procedure for all equipment with less frequent maintenance activities than the manufacturer recommends, as well as the actual maintenance strategy and frequency, and the supporting evidence, evidence must provide support that the frequency adjustment will not adversely affect patient or staff health and safety.
January 2012, NFPA 99, 2012 was published. NFPA 99 2012 is now a code and states in section 126.96.36.199.2.2 Scheduled inspections for equipment and procedures shall be established through the risk assessment of the facility and developed with consideration of the original equipment manufacturer recommendations and other recommendations as required by the authority having jurisdiction.
GasMedix has done the work for the hospital by developing a risk based testing program that meets all of the above requirements as well as previous versions of NFPA 99. This method provides greater reliability and reduced cost. Savings of 25% can be achieved immediately while improving reliability in high use areas.
The CMS letter can be found at:
The CMS Interpretive Guide for the revision 12-2-11 can be found:
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