Texting Orders Banned

JCAHO and CMS have issued a new ruling that texting of medical orders from a personal mobile device (such as a smartphone) is no longer permitted, whether or not the texting service claims to be secure.  The preferred method is to enter orders directly into the Electronic Health Record.  Written order are still permitted, as are verbal orders when neither EHR nor written orders are feasible.

This is the headline article in the June 2017 issue of Network 16 News.  This issue also contains:

Find all Network 16 News issues at https://nwrn.org/providers-and-professional-staff/nw16n.html .

Survey Guidance: Emergency Preparedness

CMS has released an advance copy of Interpretive Guidelines and Survey Procedures for the new Medicare Emergency Preparedness Requirements rule that became effective on November 15, 2016 and will be implemented on November 15, 2017.  Find a copy at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/Downloads/Survey-and-Cert-Letter-17-29.pdf .

CMS: Cleaning Stations

CMS has published new Survey & Certification guidelines on:

  • Cleaning the ESRD station between patients: CDC recommends that a dialysis station, in order to prevent cross contamination, be completely vacated by the previous patient before the ESRD staff may begin cleaning and disinfection of the station and set up for the next patient.
  • Precaution: CMS reiterates that patients should not be moved from the dialysis station until they are clinically stable.

For complete details see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/Policy-and-Memos-to-States-and-Regions-Items/Survey-and-Cert-Letter-17-32.html .

CMS: Aseptic Technique Required

CMS has issued new Survey & Certification guidelines on:

  • Preparation of Medications: ESRD facilities must follow aseptic technique when preparing and administering intravenous medications; including the filling of syringes with sterile saline for use during the dialysis procedure.
  • Filling Saline Syringes at the Station: Pursuant to current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), ESRD facilities may not fill syringes with saline from the single dose saline bag or IV tubing connected to the patient at the dialysis station. To comply with recommended safe injection practices, the facility may acquire pre-filled syringes or may prepare saline syringes for an individual patient in a clean area away from the patient treatment area.

For complete details see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/Policy-and-Memos-to-States-and-Regions-Items/Survey-and-Cert-Letter-17-31.html .

4/27 New Emergency Rule Call

CMS will hold an Emergency Preparedness Requirements Final Rule Training Call April 27, 2017 to discuss the implementation of the new emergency preparedness requirements, including an overview of the regulation, and training and testing requirements.  Facilities must be in compliance with the new rule by November 15, 2017.  A question and answer session will follow the presentation.  Providers and suppliers affected by the final rule; state survey agencies; health care coalitions, and state emergency preparedness officials are encouraged to attend.  For details and registration see https://blh.ier.intercall.com/details/3fffe92ff39341f4935586d18895c3d3 .

SC 1/30+ CA Dialysis Conference

The California Dialysis Council will present their 35th Annual Education Conference March 2-4, 2017 in Desert Hot Springs CA.  The Conference will include sessions on PD, fluid management, facility ratings, staffing, worries, survey issues, HIPAA audits, CEO/CMO panel, disaster planning, legislation, and motivation.  Exhibitors must register by January 30, 2017.  Early attendee registration discounts, and registration cancellation refunds, are available till February 3, 2017, and room reservations at the Conference hotel till February 8, 2017.  Find the Conference brochure at https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/N/CADialysis0317.pdf .  Find additional information and register at http://www.californiadialysis.org/events/35th-Annual-Educational-Conference-2017-46/details .

FAQ on New Emergency Preparedness Rule

CMS has added two new FAQ pages to their online information about the new Emergency Preparedness rule effective November 15, 2016 and citable after November 15, 2017.  Find the FAQs at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertEmergPrep/Emergency-Prep-Rule.html .