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Southwest General Health Center

Southwest General Health Center

Southwest General Health Center

Southwest General Health Center is a non-profit hospital serving Ohio’s southwestern Cuyahoga, northern Medina and eastern Lorain counties, and it is home to nationally recognized physicians, state-of-the art technology, and a full range of medical, surgical and emergency services. At Southwest General Health Center, patient safety is of the utmost importance, and it is instilled in every decision that is made throughout the Center’s healthcare facilities, which is why it was most recently named a 2014 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission—the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America.

To ensure they are maintaining a safe environment, and providing the best healthcare possible, the hospital decided to transition from having doctors and nurses using handheld devices or bringing mobile carts into patient care rooms to creating and installing individual, permanent computer work stations in patient care areas.

David Saffron, director of Technical Services & Systems for Southwest General Health Center, was tasked with determining whether or not the cost of the new workstations provided a better overall value compared to the cost of purchasing and maintaining the battery powered mobile carts. He concluded that the new workstations did not cost anymore versus the mobile carts, and, in fact, the workstations also provided an extra level of protection against cross-contamination.

Next, David surveyed the nurses and asked them how they used the carts, and what features were most important to them. The nursing staff articulated that they needed a more reliable solution because the carts required upkeep. The message was clear: A workstation with a computer and monitor mounted at the headwall adjacent to the patient would provide the ideal solution.

After researching the specific codes and requirements related to providing electrical power in patient care areas, David realized that the decision of how to provide power to the new computer workstations was not as simple as choosing one power strip over the other, so he turned to electrical industry professionals to help him find the correct solution. David contacted Cathy Pavlovic of Graybar and Kory Kofsky of Leviton Manufacturing Company to assist in finding the exact product necessary to meet the hospital’s needs.

David wanted to be sure that Southwest General would comply with UL 60601 requirements for use in patient care areas. Additionally, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had recently released a new categorical waiver allowing health care facilities to use power strips in patient care areas under certain circumstances. However, with this new categorical waiver comes the issue of requiring specific strips for certain locations within the healthcare facility. There are three specific UL standards (UL 60601-1, UL 1363, and UL1363A) identified for compliance in the CMS waiver.

With the addition of the CMS waiver, Kory and Cathy introduced David to the Leviton line of Medical Grade Power Strips. David was provided an in-depth education on Medical Grade Power Strips and the specific features and benefits that Leviton’s strips specifically offered. Leviton’s family of power strips conform to guidelines and specifications in all applicable Codes and Standards, including provisions within UL 60601-1 and UL 1363A that require performance within the patient care vicinity. Leviton’s Medical Grade Power Strips also meet and exceed the stringent requirements for use in patient care areas and are compliant with the NFPA (a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety).

"Additionally, Leviton’s strip is designed to work with isolated power systems, an important feature that a competitive medical grade power strip didn’t offer." — David Saffron

Due to the workstation configuration, there were space constraints in regard to housing the power strip, so Leviton’s solution was a 2 outlet Medical Grade Strip. Aesthetically, David liked the design of the strips and the fact that they fit in nicely with the contemporary design of the workstation. Leviton's  medical grade strips will provide years of surge protection for transients to the workstation which is a significant safety benefit.

After ordering the power strips, the devices were delivered in a timely manner, allowing David’s project to be completed ahead of schedule. Since the initial project of determining an electrical solution for the new computer workstations, Southwest General Health Center has deployed Leviton Medical Grade Power Strips throughout the entire hospital.