Inappropriate Electrical Issues
Relocatable power taps (RPTs) are the most common cause for citations related to inappropriate electrical issues. In 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began offering categorical waivers to allow hospitals to use RPTs, also known as multi-plug adapters or power strips, in patient care areas under certain circumstances. The 1999 edition of NFPA 99, which is referenced in the 2000 edition of NFPA 101: Life Safety Code®, did not allow the use of RPTs in patient care areas. The 2012 edition of NFPA 99 expands the use of RPTs in patient care rooms, and the categorical waivers allow hospitals more flexibility in this issue while complying with CMS requirements.
To use the CMS categorical waivers, hospitals must have written documentation indicating they have elected to do so. Facility staff must notify surveyors at the entrance conference that the organization has elected to use the categorical waiver and that the facility meets the requirements. Surveyors will review the information and confirm the facility meets the conditions for the waiver.
ISSUE – Terms and Concepts
- CMS memo: Categorical waiver for power strip use in patient care areas
- ASHE issue brief explaining the CMS memo
- Comparison of RPTs and special purpose RPTs
- RPT guidance comparison
MITIGATION – Tools and Resources