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ASHE clarifies power strip restrictions

ASHE Insider: June 10, 2014

Several ASHE members raised questions regarding a recent issue brief related to restrictions on power strips, and ASHE would like to clarify.

The Joint Commission’s Department of Engineering Director George Mills said Sunday at a conference that the accrediting organization would begin strictly enforcing the rule regarding power strips, or relocatable power taps (RPTs), effective immediately. (ASHE previously reported that CMS was restricting the use of power strips, but should have stated that the Joint Commission was increasing enforcement of this already existing CMS requirement. ASHE apologizes for the error and any confusion this may have caused.)

CMS has not issued a new policy regarding power strips, but requires compliance with the 2000 edition of NFPA 101: Life Safety Code®, which references the 1999 edition of NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code. NFPA 99 requires health facility electrical systems to have enough receptacles to avoid the need for extension cords or power strips in patient care areas.

Some facilities, including some accredited by other organizations, do not use power strips. Other facility professionals are frustrated by the change and are looking for new solutions. ASHE will be discussing this issue with CMS and will keep ASHE members informed of developments.

The American Society for Healthcare Engineering of the American Hospital Association
155 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 400. Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 312-422-3800 | Fax: 312-422-4571
ashe@aha.org