Sep 02 2016

Q&A Information on Power Strips

Category: Power Strips,Questions and AnswersBKeyes @ 12:00 am
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A client of mine sent me the following questions regarding power strips. The answers were taken from the CMS S&C memo 14-46 regarding the use of power strips in accordance with NFPA 99-2012.

 

Question:

Within the patient care vicinity, can non-patient care related electrical equipment be plugged into a RPT instead of a SPRPT?

Answer:

No. Power strips providing power to non-patient care electrical equipment have to be a RPT (UL 1363)… and not a SPRPT (UL 1363A). However, power strips may not be used in a patient care vicinity to power non-patient care-related electrical equipment such as personal electronics. So, even if connected to a RPT (UL 1363), it would not be permitted within a patient care vicinity.

 

Question:

Can IT electronic health record equipment use an RPT within the patient care vicinity?

Answer:

No. “Patient-care-related electrical equipment” is defined as electrical equipment that is intended to be used for diagnostic, therapeutic, or monitoring purposes in the patient care vicinity. IT electronic health record equipment does not meet this definition. Since it is non-patient care related electrical equipment, it is not permitted to be connected to a power strip in the patient care vicinity.

 

Question:

Is it also correct to say patient equipment cannot share a SPRPT with non-patient care related electrical equipment?

Answer:

Yes.

 

Question:

Has Joint Commission or others defined the extent of “Patient Care Related Electrical Equipment” definition?

Answer:

Yes. According to section 3.3.137 of NFPA 99-2012, “patient-care-related electrical equipment” is defined as electrical equipment that is intended to be used for diagnostic, therapeutic, or monitoring purposes in the patient care vicinity

 

Question:

Is there a source to define and guide SPRPT/RPT electrical safety expectations for non-patient care related electrical equipment like a workstation on wheels or a computer that is in the patient are vicinity?

Answer:

Yes. See the CMS S&C memo 14-46. You can find it by searching “CMS S&C memo 14-46” on your internet search engine.

 

Question:

If the medical equipment is just being charged outside of the patient care vicinity and not being used on a patient, does it have to be connected to a SPRPT or can it be connected to a RPT?

Answer:

Power strips providing power to patient-care related electrical equipment must be SPRPT (UL 1363A). Patient care related equipment cannot be connected to a RPT (UL 1363) power strip.