To Health Care CEOs Nationwide:
At the 2019 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Meeting, American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) membership was severely underrepresented, which led to losses that will expose patients to unnecessary risk and needlessly result in higher costs for health care institutions.
For example, the Health Care Section lost every vote related to continuing the reconditioning of electrical components and assemblies in the 2020 edition of the National Electric Code (NEC). Many hospital and health care facilities – particularly older hospitals – rely on reconditioned electrical components in the maintenance of electrical systems and in the event of a critical electrical component failure. Reconditioned electrical components keep patients safe and facilities operational. There is no evidence that using properly reconditioned components is an electrical hazard.
However, many of those voting in favor of the changes are not interested in evidence. These individuals are motivated by financial investments. They commit to attending these meetings to ensure that they have enough votes to pass changes that will improve their companies’ bottom lines, regardless of impacts on patient safety or hospital costs.
We must take action to prevent such unjust changes to the regulations in the future. The only way that The American Hospital Association (AHA) and ASHE can continue to effectively advocate for quality patient care and safety in health care at events such as the NFPA Technical Meeting is to ensure that our stance is represented by as many individuals as possible. To guarantee that representation, we must be proactive.
You, your staff and your patients will be directly impacted by the decisions made by the NFPA. Those who are directly impacted by these decisions have the right and the responsibility to make their voices heard and affect the process. This is our opportunity to mold the standards to which we will be held. Individuals must be present at the meeting in order to vote, and every vote counts.
To take action, this is what you need to do:
- Encourage your facility staff to become NFPA members at nfpa.org/membership before December 1, 2020. Joining by this deadline will enable them to vote in the next NFPA Technical Meeting.
- Support your staff in attending the 2020 NFPA Technical Meeting on June 18, 2020.
- Spread the word about the vital decisions that are routinely being made at the NFPA meeting, and the importance of representing the Health Care Industry at the NFPA Technical Meeting.
- Become an NFPA member and attend the meeting yourself!
You and your staff can inform ASHE that you are attending the 2020 NFPA Technical Meeting in Orlando by completing our RSVP form.
Please, support your staff in our field’s efforts to effect change. We must take matters of patient safety seriously to prevent harm in the near future.
The American Society for Health Care Engineering