(HNN) In a shocking revelation this week, the Joint Commission has rescinded a long controversial policy of not allowing food and drink at the nurse's station. For years, doctors and nurses have devised ingenious ways to drink coffee at the nurse's station, counteracting ridiculous OSHA regulations that have no foundation in evidence based safety. The unintended consequences of this Joint Commission policy were under appreciated until a little known medical blogger calling himself The Happy Hospitalist reported on the life threatening dangers last month.
As a thought leader in his field of hospitalist medicine, Dr Happy has proven himself to be ahead of the curve in important patient safety issues that have failed bureaucratic interference. New data confirms what he has believed all along: Doctors and nurses who drink hot coffee and tea at the nurse's station have a 50% reduced likelihood of having MRSA nasal carriage. This suspicion was recently confirmed in the Annals of Family Medicine Vol. 9 No 4 July/August, 2011. Fewer doctors and nurses with MRSA nasal carriage means fewer patients with MRSA.
Making sure doctors and nurses drink their coffee and tea at the nurse's station is just another in a long line of patient safety initiatives who's time has come. Dr Happy presented this new found data to the Joint Commission for fast track consideration. The Joint Commission is a body that strives to bring high quality care and patient safety to hospitals all across America. A representative of the JC, who wished to remain anonymous because he wasn't authorized to discuss the matter, says he was embarrassed by his organization's prior actions; actions that have placed millions of patients at risk.
"By not allowing doctors and nurses to drink coffee at will in their work areas, we have unfortunately mutilated millions of Americans with life threatening MRSA infections. We are appalled by our actions. Oops. Sorry 'bout dat."
As of July 15th, 2011, all hospitals have been directed by the Joint Commission to comply with their new National Coffee and Tea At The Bedside Safety Standards or face loss of accreditation. These new tough regulations will require hospitals to implement, in phases, hospital wide protocols that will eventually force all doctors and nurses to drink hot coffee and tea at the nurses station, whether they like coffee and tea or not.
These new regulations mandate every hospital create five new committees that will employ ten new quality nurse specialists with excellent and expensive benefit plans and take up at least 20 hours a month of full time salary equivalency of a pharmacist, nutritionist, maintenance worker and crossword puzzle hand-er-out-er volunteer in order to fully comply with these new patient safety standards.
Beginning immediately, all nurses will be required to chart the total number of cups of coffee and tea in both cubic centimeters and deciliters, as well as their own urine output and to go to the emergency room immediately if they make less than 30cc per hour, aka decreased urine output, on a shift. They must also estimate physician compliance by eye balling their bedside coffee cup to the best of their untrained eye. The hospital coffee machine will no longer be allowed to lay claim to the dirtiest place in a hospital. New cleaning standards will be implemented immediately. Eventually, as the Joint Commission is able to get their arms around and understand the implications of their major new safety standard, they will require a combination self serve coffee/tea/Purell™ hand sanitizer machine at the entrance of every patient room. Keeping patients healthy starts every day at the bedside with a healthy dose of hot coffee and tea.
But sometimes it just doesn't matter because patients have a strong resistance to staph before admission, as this original Happy Hospitalist crude medical humor card explains.
The Happy News Network is not responsible for any inaccuracies in this ground breaking report. In addition, this card may contain humor that is only appreciated by some healthcare providers and is not intended for all audiences. Read at your own risk.