Standardization Helps Prevent Medical Gas Mix-ups
At this point in the 21st century most professional organizations, associations and the like have adopted a series of standardizations and operational protocols which promise to greatly reduce or eliminate major errors due to oversight. And this standardization has proven to be among the greatest of industry safeguards, especially when partnered with dramatically increased quality control procedures.
Take, for example, the assignment of a unique connection for oxygen that was adopted by the American Standards Association (now ANSI) back in 1949. This connection proved so effective that the U.S. Department of Transportation eventually adopted it. Additional standardization measures for oxygen and other medical gases include product labeling, color coding, and more stringent quality control parameters.
In labeling, consistency is key. Modern methods and equipment help to ensure that each gas is filled into its intended and proper cylinder. Strict valve adapters serve to protect against the unwanted tampering of cylinders after they’ve been filled and also as an additional source of product identification.
On the other hand, color coding standards have been largely overlooked. It is not uncommon to find multiple colors being used to identify the same gas being used in different parts of the same country.
Although each of these improved methods add a level of safety, the most important component in the quest to prevent mix-ups and maintain a safe environment remains a competent workforce. Personnel must realize the gravity of what they are being tasked with and must strive to ensure that each product is handled with the utmost care. The possibility of untrained personnel handling potentially dangerous gas cylinders in an unsafe manner must be eliminated as much as possible. Yet, unlike controls placed on other facets of the healthcare field, medical facilities typically don’t regulate who handles gas cylinders. This includes the receipt, storage, and distribution of such gases once they have been delivered by the supplier.
Having identified these and other issues that increase the potential for product mix-ups, those in the know continue to promote certifications as a way to assist healthcare facilities in minimizing costly, and potentially deadly, medical gas mix-ups. Within the medical gas industry, the National Inspection Testing and Certification Corporation (NITC) offers a variety of certifications accredited by the American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) meant to test the competencies and knowledge of candidates in critical areas such as: Medical Gas Installer 6010, Medical Gas Inspector 6020, and Medical Gas Instructor 6050.
Therefore, whether you’re a training director, association representative, employer representative, or an individual applicant, National Inspection Testing and Certification Corporation (NITC) is there to help advise you along the way.
Contact NITC at (877) 457-6482 to learn more about how our products help prepare the most qualified, most reliable, and safest trade professionals possible thanks to our wide range of industry certifications. NITC will help your business exceed customer expectations. So have your personnel certified with the certification company, NITC, today.