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Effective Environment of Care (EOC) Rounds

MedWrench Guru Tommy Lobato, Clinical Engineering Manager at SCL Health, Good Samaritan Medical Center, provides advice on how you can be more effective during EOC inspections.

Tue Aug 04 2020By Tommy Lobato

Our care site has been doing the normal Joint Commission preparation drills for the past year now. Mock inspections, reviewing of standards, checking for compliance, and going through our facility looking for stained ceiling tiles. Of course, that last one was said in jest, although there is truth to it! I have been brainstorming during the past few weekly inspections on how I could be more effective than just looking for equipment: 

  • with exposed wires?
  • cleanliness, paint, and covers appear satisfactory?
  • free of adhesive residue? Tape, etc.?
  • tagged and removed from service?

The aforementioned are a good start but I believe we must dive deeper. The following are a few things meant to be helpful, and if nothing else a good reminder. 

Rounding: Sure it is good to be a part of the weekly EOC rounds, but how about other times? For example, a former director of mine required rounding every day with the critical departments.  That can be beneficial for a number of reasons. It builds relationships with the users which helps you gain their trust. A good rapport with your customers can help immensely during those rare times that you missed on a service call. None of us would admit those right? (Smile) Rounding also helps you break away from the bench to see what is happening on the units.  Being engaged and proactive is a good thing! One quote from a former CEO was, “Visibility breeds credibility, and credibility breeds trust. If you want to be trusted, you better be visible.”

EOC Rounding: Back to my topic on effective EOC rounds. There is no silver bullet here. Effectiveness depends on how I apply myself during this time. I look for the obvious physical things that should be taking place, like the defibrillator that should be plugged in with daily checks being performed. I do not take this for granted. Then, I peel the onion back and look at data management - I have yet to work in a hospital where this is solved. 

Managing accurate equipment records with the correct manufacturer, model and serial numbers, and documented incoming inspections (EC.02.04.03 EP1) is yet to be 100% complete. If you believe you have attained this, good for you! I verify our data by capturing asset tags during rounds and then reviewing them in our CMMS. There is no science here, I just pick things randomly. I have found during my review of equipment records:

  • Accurate information with current maintenance is documented.
  • The device has been UTL for some time with scheduled maintenance due.
  • The asset is not in the system at all. How does that happen? (Rhetorically)

Regardless of what I find the result is a win if I act on correcting the discrepancies. Passing the buck weakens my program, decreases patient safety, and frankly is a complete waste of an hour. In closing, I would encourage you to make the most of your EOC rounds. Make them meaningful and productive.   

Good luck out there and be the best you can!  

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