By Matthew F. Baretich, PE, PhD
Long due for an overhaul, major changes have come to the 2012 edition, including the move from a standard to a code
NFPA 99 has long been recognized in the health care technology management profession as a fundamental guide for managing medical equipment. The 2012 edition represents a major revision of the document that will have a substantial impact on our work as clinical engineers and biomedical equipment technicians.
Why was a major revision needed? One reason was that since its first edition in 1985, NFPA 99 has been a sort of mash-up of various earlier documents. For that reason alone, a thorough review of the document’s scope and its internal consistency was in order.
Another reason was to recast NFPA 99 from “standard” to “code.” In NFPA jargon, standards are akin to guidelines that organizations may choose to follow. On the other hand, codes mandate very specific minimum requirements and are suitable for adoption and enforcement by legal authorities. The two best-known NFPA codes are NFPA 70 National Electrical Code and NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, both of which have the force of law in many jurisdictions.
NFPA 99 has long been recognized in the health care technology management profession as a fundamental guide for managing medical equipment.
Soon after the 2005 edition of NFPA 99 was released, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) initiated a project to completely rewrite the document, with a target of 2010 for a revised edition. A proposed 2010 edition was rejected in June 2009 and returned to the committee for further review. The primary concern at that time was that the many changes in content and format needed to be better integrated. Also, some of the proposed changes were highly controversial.
After extensive review and editing by the NFPA 99 technical committee, a proposed 2012 edition was created. That proposal was formally accepted at the NFPA’s Association Technical Meeting in Boston in June 2011. The result is the official 2012 edition of NFPA 99 Health Care Facilities Code.
CLICK HERE to read the entire article.
From: March 2012 24×7 Magazine
Matthew F. Baretich, PE, PhD, is a member of 24×7′s editorial advisory board and president of Baretich Engineering, Fort Collins, Colorado. He is a consultant in clinical engineering, health care facilities engineering, and health care-related forensic engineering. CLICK HERE to visit his website.