Q: What are your thoughts on this technique? A Velcro type material is used to hold the power strip off the floor and attached to the wall in a patient care room. Is this safe?
A: Remove the power strip and plug both cords into outlet. If more outlets are needed, have an electrical tech replace the outlet with a four-outlet plug.
A: A very simple solution can resolve this. Call the local code officer or the fire department. This is a safety problem.
A: In a word, no. If you need more outlets you add them. In this case, having a four-way put in to replace the two-way wouldn’t have been hard and much safer.
A: It doesn’t look like it’s HG rated. Those molded plugs eventually tend to leave the ground prong behind when used in a tight HG outlet found in most patient care areas. If it has surge protection, leakage current might be on the high side with many low-cost strips. It might not pass electrical safety when acceptance tested. It has an over exposed power switch and those can get bumped and switched off and IV pump batteries discharge). It should help to keep the painter employed when it gets snatched by “cord-method-unpluggers.” It looks like something IT would devise. Apart from just looking tacky, I am curious what the fire marshal’s thoughts will be.
Surface mounted, hardwired, HG multi-outlets can be purchased to permanently replace the duplex receptacles in patient rooms (like your photo seems to indicate). These outlets screw directly onto the existing outlet box after removing the original receptacle. They are more aesthetic, and they can take a pretty good hit. The face is large enough to accommodate a full complement of HG powercord plugs – your outlet strip won’t let you put two side by side without skipping an outlet. They come with 4 (or 6) 15-amp rated outlets; and can be ordered in white, ivory, red and orange to satisfy most designations and decors. You might even find them in GFCI. They are UL approved also. It has been a while, but I think Leviton brand was what we went with. There should be others. Individually they are a little pricey, but if you are buying in bulk they really begin to make since. They are no more expensive than a good quality hospital-grade multi-strip which may get you into trouble, anyway.
The downside is that an electrician must install them which is an additional cost. But once installed, they will not require asset tagging and you will never need to hunt them down to re-inspect them. It’s the kind of upgrade that a smaller local electrical contractor would love to bid on. You can coordinate with plant ops to have it done in conjunction with room re-painting. In older facilities, those old outlets probably are due for replacement anyway. Many will fail a tension test, which makes cheap outlet strips even more hazardous in your hospital (or your home).
The Joint Comission inspectors, by the way, love these kind of projects so document it thoroughly. And, it’s just safer.
A: I agree regarding the code and safety issue. But, relating to the actual Velcro mounting solution, a good industrial Velcro will hold such a device just fine.
However, the adhesive will not set up and hold to the vertical paint surface for very long. If by chance the adhesive does hold, the paint will pull off the wall.
Q: How do you keep people from plugging their smartphones into USB ports at your facility?
A: Disable the USB ports.
A: This is a great topic. How many of you in the HTM world are not paying attention to this vulnerability of USB ports on the medical devices? You have a large volume of medical devices that are in your inventory right now that touch the hospital network. An unsuspecting visitor or perhaps a health care provider who has a cellphone that is low on battery can see a USB port on their loved-ones patient bedside monitor. They take their USB charging cable and insert it into the USB port. The cellphone has a virus or an “Internet bot” on the phone. They have just unleashed havoc into your hospital network. Network security is everyone’s responsibility!
A: Glad you asked this. I am curious what others are doing. I was about to research buying USB port covers to help minimize this activity.
A: If the device has an administrator account you can disable the USB ports that are being used except for the keyboard and mouse.
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