Joint Commission Clarifies Requirements for Monitoring and Maintenance of Refrigerators in Patient Rooms

PUBLISHED: Apr 12, 2017
Relevant to: Hospitals

The Joint Commission recently published an answer to a frequently asked question clarifying their requirements for temperature monitoring and log maintenance of refrigerators in patient rooms intended for personal use.

Hospitals should be aware of the following:

  • There are no specific standards that require temperature monitoring or maintaining a temperature log for refrigerators provided for personal patient use.
  • TJC expects organizations to have a process “…to ensure the refrigerator functions properly to ensure safe storage of its food contents.”
  • TJC requires organizations to have a process for storing food and nutrition products. This includes foods that are brought into the organization by patients. Food and nutrition products (including products brought into the facility by patient/family) must be stored in a manner that uses correct sanitation, temperature, light, moisture, ventilation and security.
  • Organizations should consider using the organization-wide risk assessment to determine risks associated with the use of refrigerators by patients and determine action steps to mitigate and monitor those risks.
  • State and local agencies may have requirements that should be considered.

Included with today’s StayAlert! notice are example policies related to this topic.

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