CHAPTER 6

ELECTRICAL SAFETY

5.0 ELECTRICAL SAFETY IN PATIENT CARE AREAS

 

5.1  Electrical Safety Around Patients

5.2  Equipment Labeling

5.3  Equipment Labeling

5.4  Equipment Labeling

5.5  Equipment Owned by Patient


5.1       Electrical Safety Around Patients

All personnel directly involved in the care of patients must be instructed regarding electrical hazards to patients.  Particular attention must be paid to those patients who are sensitive to electrical hazards because of wet dressings, indwelling conductive catheters or probes with externalized intracardiac leads. 

Limits of permissible electrical leakage and frequency of testing for leakage are based on patient susceptibility. 

If two or more electrical instruments are used near a patient, connect them to adjacent AC outlets. 

Check power cords and equipment cables frequently for intermittent connections, as well as for frayed wires and overall quality of the conductors. 

Extension  cords are prohibited except when used in conjunction with portable power tools and/or emergency situations.

 

5.2       Equipment Labeling

Electrical equipment that utilizes a three-prong plug used in a patient care area shall have a color-coded safety inspection label affixed to it.  Each of these labels must be fully completed to contain the following information: 

         Department performing the test

         Telephone extension of the department performing the test

         Initials of the person performing the test

         Date of inspection

         Due date for next test 

The examples of labels below indicate the situations in which equipment can be used.

 

5.3       Equipment Labeling

Electrical equipment will have a green label annotating the type of performance completed, the date it occurred and the next service date required.

New Tag

 

5.4       Equipment Labeling

         White Tag (red lettering) Ė Remove from service. If a piece of equipment does not work properly, disconnect it, attach a white tag and contact Clinical Equipment Services ext 76143 for repair.  Also to be used for a device occurrence (incident).  Record tag and UTMB asset number on the patient incident report. 

Out of Service Tag

 

 

5.5       Equipment Owned by Patient

A patientís personal electrical equipment is not normally allowed in the hospital.  Televisions owned by a patient will not be allowed under any circumstances, but other battery-operated equipment is permissible upon approval from CES.

Exception

Exceptions to this standard will be made only if the patientís physician certifies that the allowance of electrical equipment connected to power outlets is necessary to the patientís benefit, health and welfare as specified in the Institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures (IHOP). 

In this case:

         A Waiver of Liability form must be completed and signed by the patient before the appliance or device can be inspected.  Copies of the form must be forwarded to Clinical Equipment Services (CES) and Clinical Risk Management.

         The appliance must be inspected by a representative of CES and labeled with an appropriate safety certification.  Call ext 76143 for this service.

         The period of certification cannot exceed three weeks.  (In  Psychiatry, the certification period may be three months.)