TITLE 25. HEALTH SERVICES

PART 1. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES

CHAPTER 131. FREESTANDING EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE FACILITIES

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) adopts amendments to §131.2, concerning Definitions; and §131.46, concerning Emergency Services. The amendments are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the September 13, 2019, issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 4935), and therefore will not be republished.

BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION

These amendments are necessary to comply with House Bill (H.B.) 3152, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which amends the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 323. H.B. 3152 requires HHSC to define facilities as sexual assault forensic exam-ready (SAFE-ready) facilities, and requires certain health-care facilities to provide sexual assault survivors the option to transfer to a facility that is SAFE-ready. The amendment to §131.46 also implements H.B. 4531, 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019, concerning the rights and treatment of and services provided to certain adult sexual assault survivors.

COMMENTS

The 31-day comment period ended on October 14, 2019.

During this period, HHSC did not receive any comments regarding the proposed rules.

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

25 TAC §131.2

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendment is adopted under Texas Government Code §531.0055, which provides that the Executive Commissioner of HHSC shall adopt rules for the operation and provision of services by the health and human services agencies, and under Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 323.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on January 13, 2020.

TRD-202000113

Karen Ray

Chief Counsel

Department of State Health Services

Effective date: February 2, 2020

Proposal publication date: September 13, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 834-4591


SUBCHAPTER C. OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

25 TAC §131.46

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendment is adopted under Texas Government Code §531.0055, which provides that the Executive Commissioner of HHSC shall adopt rules for the operation and provision of services by the health and human services agencies, and under Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 323.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on January 13, 2020.

TRD-202000114

Karen Ray

Chief Counsel

Department of State Health Services

Effective date: February 2, 2020

Proposal publication date: September 13, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 834-4591


SUBCHAPTER C. OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

25 TAC §131.45

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) adopts an amendment to §131.45, concerning Facility Staffing and Training. The amendment to §131.45 is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the September 13, 2019, issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 4937), and therefore will not be republished.

BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION

The purpose of this amendment is to update the requirements for establishing a nursing peer review committee. The amendment to §131.45 is necessary to comply with House Bill (H.B.) 3296, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which amended the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 303, related to nursing peer review committees.

COMMENTS

The 31-day comment period ended October 14, 2019.

During this period, HHSC did not receive any comments regarding the proposed rule.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendment to §131.45 is adopted under Texas Government Code §531.0055, which provides that the Executive Commissioner of HHSC shall adopt rules for the operation and provision of services by the health and human services agencies, and the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 303.

The amendment implements Texas Government Code §531.0055 and Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 303.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on January 6, 2020.

TRD-202000034

Karen Ray

Chief Counsel

Department of State Health Services

Effective date: January 26, 2020

Proposal publication date: September 13, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 834-4591


CHAPTER 133. HOSPITAL LICENSING

The Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) adopts amendments to §133.2, concerning Definitions, and §133.41, concerning Hospital Functions and Services. Section 133.2 is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the September 13, 2019, issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 4939). This rule will not be republished.

Section 133.41 is adopted with changes to the proposed text as published in the September 13, 2019, issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 4939). This rule will be republished.

BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION

These amendments are necessary to comply with House Bill (H.B.) 3152, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which amends the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 323. H.B. 3152, requires HHSC to define facilities as sexual assault forensic exam-ready (SAFE-ready) facilities, and requires certain health-care facilities to provide sexual assault survivors the option to transfer to a facility that is SAFE-ready. The amendments to §133.41 implement H.B. 4531, 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019, concerning the rights and treatment of and services provided to certain adult sexual assault survivors; and H.B. 531, 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019, concerning the retention of medical records from the forensic examination of a sexual assault survivor.

COMMENTS

The 31-day comment period ended on October 14, 2019. During this period, HHSC did not receive any comments regarding the proposed rules.

A minor addition was made to §133.41(j) to implement H.B. 531 and maintain compliance with the current medical record preservation standards outlined under Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 241.

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

25 TAC §133.2

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendment is adopted under Texas Government Code §531.0055, which provides that the Executive Commissioner of HHSC shall adopt rules for the operation and provision of services by the health and human services agencies, and the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 323 and Chapter 241.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on January 13, 2020.

TRD-202000116

Karen Ray

Chief Counsel

Department of State Health Services

Effective date: February 2, 2020

Proposal publication date: September 13, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 834-4591


SUBCHAPTER C. OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

25 TAC §133.41

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendment is adopted under Texas Government Code §531.0055, which provides that the Executive Commissioner of HHSC shall adopt rules for the operation and provision of services by the health and human services agencies, and the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 323 and Chapter 241.

§133.41.Hospital Functions and Services.

(a) Anesthesia services. If the hospital furnishes anesthesia services, these services shall be provided in a well-organized manner under the direction of a qualified physician in accordance with the Medical Practice Act and the Nursing Practice Act. The hospital is responsible for and shall document all anesthesia services administered in the hospital.

(1) Organization and staffing. The organization of anesthesia services shall be appropriate to the scope of the services offered. Only personnel who have been approved by the facility to provide anesthesia services shall administer anesthesia. All approvals or delegations of anesthesia services as authorized by law shall be documented and include the training, experience, and qualifications of the person who provided the service.

(2) Delivery of services. Anesthesia services shall be consistent with needs and resources. Policies on anesthesia procedure shall include the delineation of pre-anesthesia and post-anesthesia responsibilities. The policies shall ensure that the following are provided for each patient.

(A) A pre-anesthesia evaluation by an individual qualified to administer anesthesia under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be performed within 48 hours prior to surgery.

(B) An intraoperative anesthesia record shall be provided. The record shall include any complications or problems occurring during the anesthesia including time, description of symptoms, review of affected systems, and treatments rendered. The record shall correlate with the controlled substance administration record.

(C) A post-anesthesia follow-up report shall be written by the person administering the anesthesia before transferring the patient from the post-anesthesia care unit and shall include evaluation for recovery from anesthesia, level of activity, respiration, blood pressure, level of consciousness, and patient's oxygen saturation level.

(i) With respect to inpatients, a post-anesthesia evaluation for proper anesthesia recovery shall be performed after transfer from the post-anesthesia care unit and within 48 hours after surgery by the person administering the anesthesia, registered nurse (RN), or physician in accordance with policies and procedures approved by the medical staff and using criteria written in the medical staff bylaws for postoperative monitoring of anesthesia.

(ii) With respect to outpatients, immediately prior to discharge, a post-anesthesia evaluation for proper anesthesia recovery shall be performed by the person administering the anesthesia, RN, or physician in accordance with policies and procedures approved by the medical staff and using criteria written in the medical staff bylaws for postoperative monitoring of anesthesia.

(b) Chemical dependency services.

(1) Chemical dependency unit. A hospital may not admit patients to a chemical dependency services unit unless the unit is approved by the Department of State Health Services (department) as meeting the requirements of §133.163(q) of this title (relating to Spatial Requirements for New Construction).

(2) Admission criteria. A hospital providing chemical dependency services shall have written admission criteria that are applied uniformly to all patients who are admitted to the chemical dependency unit.

(A) The hospital's admission criteria shall include procedures to prevent the admission of minors for a condition which is not generally recognized as responsive to treatment in an inpatient setting for chemical dependency services.

(i) The following conditions are not generally recognized as responsive to treatment in a treatment facility for chemical dependency unless the minor to be admitted is qualified because of other disabilities, such as:

(I) cognitive disabilities due to intellectual disability;

(II) learning disabilities; or

(III) psychiatric disorders.

(ii) A minor may be qualified for admission based on other disabilities which would be responsive to chemical dependency services.

(iii) A minor patient shall be separated from adult patients.

(B) The hospital shall have a preadmission examination procedure under which each patient's condition and medical history are reviewed by a member of the medical staff to determine whether the patient is likely to benefit significantly from an intensive inpatient program or assessment.

(C) A voluntarily admitted patient shall sign an admission consent form prior to admission to a chemical dependency unit which includes verification that the patient has been informed of the services to be provided and the estimated charges.

(3) Compliance. A hospital providing chemical dependency services in an identifiable unit within the hospital shall comply with Chapter 448, Subchapter B of this title (relating to Standard of Care Applicable to All Providers).

(c) Comprehensive medical rehabilitation services.

(1) Rehabilitation units. A hospital may not admit patients to a comprehensive medical rehabilitation services unit unless the unit is approved by the department as meeting the requirements of §133.163(z) of this title.

(2) Equipment and space. The hospital shall have the necessary equipment and sufficient space to implement the treatment plan described in paragraph (7)(C) of this subsection and allow for adequate care. Necessary equipment is all equipment necessary to comply with all parts of the written treatment plan. The equipment shall be on-site or available through an arrangement with another provider. Sufficient space is the physical area of a hospital which in the aggregate, constitutes the total amount of the space necessary to comply with the written treatment plan.

(3) Emergency requirements. Emergency personnel, equipment, supplies and medications for hospitals providing comprehensive medical rehabilitation services shall be as follows.

(A) A hospital that provides comprehensive medical rehabilitation services shall have emergency equipment, supplies, medications, and designated personnel assigned for providing emergency care to patients and visitors.

(B) The emergency equipment, supplies, and medications shall be properly maintained and immediately accessible to all areas of the hospital. The emergency equipment shall be periodically tested according to the policy adopted, implemented and enforced by the hospital.

(C) At a minimum, the emergency equipment and supplies shall include those specified in subsection (e)(4) of this section.

(D) The personnel providing emergency care in accordance with this subsection shall be staffed for 24-hour coverage and accessible to all patients receiving comprehensive medical rehabilitation services. At least one person who is qualified by training to perform advanced cardiac life support and administer emergency drugs shall be on duty each shift.

(E) All direct patient care licensed personnel shall maintain current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

(4) Medications. A rehabilitation hospital's governing body shall adopt, implement and enforce policies and procedures that require all medications to be administered by licensed nurses, physicians, or other licensed professionals authorized by law to administer medications.

(5) Organization and Staffing.

(A) A hospital providing comprehensive medical rehabilitation services shall be organized and staffed to ensure the health and safety of the patients.

(i) All provided services shall be consistent with accepted professional standards and practice.

(ii) The organization of the services shall be appropriate to the scope of the services offered.

(iii) The hospital shall adopt, implement and enforce written patient care policies that govern the services it furnishes.

(B) The provision of comprehensive medical rehabilitation services in a hospital shall be under the medical supervision of a physician who is on duty and available, or who is on-call 24 hours each day.

(C) A hospital providing comprehensive medical rehabilitation services shall have a medical director or clinical director who supervises and administers the provision of comprehensive medical rehabilitation services.

(i) The medical director or clinical director shall be a physician who is board certified or eligible for board certification in physical medicine and rehabilitation, orthopedics, neurology, neurosurgery, internal medicine, or rheumatology as appropriate for the rehabilitation program.

(ii) The medical director or clinical director shall be qualified by training or at least two years training and experience to serve as medical director or clinical director. A person is qualified under this subsection if the person has training and experience in the treatment of rehabilitation patients in a rehabilitation setting.

(6) Admission criteria. A hospital providing comprehensive medical rehabilitation services shall have written admission criteria that are applied uniformly to all patients who are admitted to the comprehensive medical rehabilitation unit.

(A) The hospital's admission criteria shall include procedures to prevent the admission of a minor for a condition which is not generally recognized as responsive to treatment in an inpatient setting for comprehensive medical rehabilitation services.

(i) The following conditions are not generally recognized as responsive to treatment in an inpatient setting for comprehensive medical rehabilitation services unless the minor to be admitted is qualified because of other disabilities, such as:

(I) cognitive disabilities due to intellectual disability;

(II) learning disabilities; or

(III) psychiatric disorders.

(ii) A minor may be qualified for admission based on other disabilities which would be responsive to comprehensive medical rehabilitation services.

(B) The hospital shall have a preadmission examination procedure under which each patient's condition and medical history are reviewed by a member of the medical staff to determine whether the patient is likely to benefit significantly from an intensive inpatient program or assessment.

(7) Care and services.

(A) A hospital providing comprehensive medical rehabilitation services shall use a coordinated interdisciplinary team which is directed by a physician and which works in collaboration to develop and implement the patient's treatment plan.

(i) The interdisciplinary team for comprehensive medical rehabilitation services shall have available to it, at the hospital at which the services are provided or by contract, members of the following professions as necessary to meet the treatment needs of the patient:

(I) physical therapy;

(II) occupational therapy;

(III) speech-language pathology;

(IV) therapeutic recreation;

(V) social services and case management;

(VI) dietetics;

(VII) psychology;

(VIII) respiratory therapy;

(IX) rehabilitative nursing;

(X) certified orthotics;

(XI) certified prosthetics;

(XII) pharmaceutical care; and

(XIII) in the case of a minor patient, persons who have specialized education and training in emotional, mental health, or chemical dependency problems, as well as the treatment of minors.

(ii) The coordinated interdisciplinary team approach used in the rehabilitation of each patient shall be documented by periodic entries made in the patient's medical record to denote:

(I) the patient's status in relationship to goal attainment; and

(II) that team conferences are held at least every two weeks to determine the appropriateness of treatment.

(B) An initial assessment and preliminary treatment plan shall be performed or established by the physician within 24 hours of admission.

(C) The physician in coordination with the interdisciplinary team shall establish a written treatment plan for the patient within seven working days of the date of admission.

(i) Comprehensive medical rehabilitation services shall be provided in accordance with the written treatment plan.

(ii) The treatment provided under the written treatment plan shall be provided by staff who are qualified to provide services under state law. The hospital shall establish written qualifications for services provided by each discipline for which there is no applicable state statute for professional licensure or certification.

(iii) Services provided under the written treatment plan shall be given in accordance with the orders of physicians, dentists, podiatrists or practitioners who are authorized by the governing body, hospital administration, and medical staff to order the services, and the orders shall be incorporated in the patient's record.

(iv) The written treatment plan shall delineate anticipated goals and specify the type, amount, frequency, and anticipated duration of service to be provided.

(v) Within 10 working days after the date of admission, the written treatment plan shall be provided. It shall be in the person's primary language, if practicable. What is or would have been practicable shall be determined by the facts and circumstances of each case. The written treatment plan shall be provided to:

(I) the patient;

(II) a person designated by the patient; and

(III) upon request, a family member, guardian, or individual who has demonstrated on a routine basis responsibility and participation in the patient's care or treatment, but only with the patient's consent unless such consent is not required by law.

(vi) The written treatment plan shall be reviewed by the interdisciplinary team at least every two weeks.

(vii) The written treatment plan shall be revised by the interdisciplinary team if a comprehensive reassessment of the patient's status or the results of a patient case review conference indicates the need for revision.

(viii) The revision shall be incorporated into the patient's record within seven working days after the revision.

(ix) The revised treatment plan shall be reduced to writing in the person's primary language, if practicable, and provided to:

(I) the patient;

(II) a person designated by the patient; and

(III) upon request, a family member, guardian, or individual who has demonstrated on a routine basis responsibility and participation in the patient's care or treatment, but only with the patient's consent unless such consent is not required by law.

(8) Discharge and continuing care plan. The patient's interdisciplinary team shall prepare a written continuing care plan that addresses the patient's needs for care after discharge.

(A) The continuing care plan for the patient shall include recommendations for treatment and care and information about the availability of resources for treatment or care.

(B) If the patient's interdisciplinary team deems it impracticable to provide a written continuing care plan prior to discharge, the patient's interdisciplinary team shall provide the written continuing care plan to the patient within two working days after the date of discharge.

(C) Prior to discharge or within two working days after the date of discharge, the written continuing care plan shall be provided in the person's primary language, if practicable, to:

(i) the patient;

(ii) a person designated by the patient; and

(iii) upon request, to a family member, guardian, or individual who has demonstrated on a routine basis responsibility and participation in the patient's care or treatment, but only with the patient's consent unless such consent is not required by law.

(d) Dietary services. The hospital shall have organized dietary services that are directed and staffed by adequate qualified personnel. However, a hospital that has a contract with an outside food management company or an arrangement with another hospital may meet this requirement if the company or other hospital has a dietitian who serves the hospital on a full-time, part-time, or consultant basis, and if the company or other hospital maintains at least the minimum requirements specified in this section, and provides for the frequent and systematic liaison with the hospital medical staff for recommendations of dietetic policies affecting patient treatment. The hospital shall ensure that there are sufficient personnel to respond to the dietary needs of the patient population being served.

(1) Organization.

(A) The hospital shall have a full-time employee who is qualified by experience or training to serve as director of the food and dietetic service, and be responsible for the daily management of the dietary services.

(B) There shall be a qualified dietitian who works full-time, part-time, or on a consultant basis. If by consultation, such services shall occur at least once per month for not less than eight hours. The dietitian shall:

(i) be currently licensed under the laws of this state to use the titles of licensed dietitian or provisional licensed dietitian, or be a registered dietitian;

(ii) maintain standards for professional practice;

(iii) supervise the nutritional aspects of patient care;

(iv) make an assessment of the nutritional status and adequacy of nutritional regimen, as appropriate;

(v) provide diet counseling and teaching, as appropriate;

(vi) document nutritional status and pertinent information in patient medical records, as appropriate;

(vii) approve menus; and

(viii) approve menu substitutions.

(C) There shall be administrative and technical personnel competent in their respective duties. The administrative and technical personnel shall:

(i) participate in established departmental or hospital training pertinent to assigned duties;

(ii) conform to food handling techniques in accordance with paragraph (2)(E)(viii) of this subsection;

(iii) adhere to clearly defined work schedules and assignment sheets; and

(iv) comply with position descriptions which are job specific.

(2) Director. The director shall:

(A) comply with a position description which is job specific;

(B) clearly delineate responsibility and authority;

(C) participate in conferences with administration and department heads;

(D) establish, implement, and enforce policies and procedures for the overall operational components of the department to include, but not be limited to:

(i) quality assessment and performance improvement program;

(ii) frequency of meals served;

(iii) nonroutine occurrences; and

(iv) identification of patient trays; and

(E) maintain authority and responsibility for the following, but not be limited to:

(i) orientation and training;

(ii) performance evaluations;

(iii) work assignments;

(iv) supervision of work and food handling techniques;

(v) procurement of food, paper, chemical, and other supplies, to include implementation of first-in first-out rotation system for all food items;

(vi) ensuring there is a four-day food supply on hand at all times;

(vii) menu planning; and

(viii) ensuring compliance with Chapter 228 of this title (relating to Retail Food).

(3) Diets. Menus shall meet the needs of the patients.

(A) Therapeutic diets shall be prescribed by the physician(s) responsible for the care of the patients. The dietary department of the hospital shall:

(i) establish procedures for the processing of therapeutic diets to include, but not be limited to:

(I) accurate patient identification;

(II) transcription from nursing to dietary services;

(III) diet planning by a dietitian;

(IV) regular review and updating of diet when necessary; and

(V) written and verbal instruction to patient and family. It shall be in the patient's primary language, if practicable, prior to discharge. What is or would have been practicable shall be determined by the facts and circumstances of each case;

(ii) ensure that therapeutic diets are planned in writing by a qualified dietitian;

(iii) ensure that menu substitutions are approved by a qualified dietitian;

(iv) document pertinent information about the patient's response to a therapeutic diet in the medical record; and

(v) evaluate therapeutic diets for nutritional adequacy.

(B) Nutritional needs shall be met in accordance with recognized dietary practices and in accordance with orders of the physician(s) or appropriately credentialed practitioner(s) responsible for the care of the patients. The following requirements shall be met.

(i) Menus shall provide a sufficient variety of foods served in adequate amounts at each meal according to the guidance provided in the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), as published by the Food and Nutrition Board, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council, Tenth edition, 1989, which may be obtained by writing the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055, telephone (888) 624-8373.

(ii) A maximum of 15 hours shall not be exceeded between the last meal of the day (i.e. supper) and the breakfast meal, unless a substantial snack is provided. The hospital shall adopt, implement, and enforce a policy on the definition of "substantial" to meet each patient's varied nutritional needs.

(C) A current therapeutic diet manual approved by the dietitian and medical staff shall be readily available to all medical, nursing, and food service personnel. The therapeutic manual shall:

(i) be revised as needed, not to exceed 5 years;

(ii) be appropriate for the diets routinely ordered in the hospital;

(iii) have standards in compliance with the RDA;

(iv) contain specific diets which are not in compliance with RDA; and

(v) be used as a guide for ordering and serving diets.

(e) Emergency services. All licensed hospital locations, including multiple-location sites, shall have an emergency suite that complies with §133.161(a)(1)(A) of this title (relating to Requirements for Buildings in Which Existing Licensed Hospitals are Located) or §133.163(f) of this title, and the following.

(1) Organization. The organization of the emergency services shall be appropriate to the scope of the services offered.

(A) The services shall be organized under the direction of a qualified member of the medical staff who is the medical director or clinical director.

(B) The services shall be integrated with other departments of the hospital.

(C) The policies and procedures governing medical care provided in the emergency suite shall be established by and shall be a continuing responsibility of the medical staff.

(D) Medical records indicating patient identification, complaint, physician, nurse, time admitted to the emergency suite, treatment, time discharged, and disposition shall be maintained for all emergency patients.

(E) Each freestanding emergency medical care facility shall advertise as an emergency room. The facility shall display notice that it functions as an emergency room.

(i) The notice shall explain that patients who receive medical services will be billed according to comparable rates for hospital emergency room services in the same region.

(ii) The notice shall be prominently and conspicuously posted for display in a public area of the facility that is readily available to each patient, managing conservator, or guardian. The postings shall be easily readable and consumer-friendly. The notice shall be in English and in a second language appropriate to the demographic makeup of the community served.

(2) Personnel.

(A) There shall be adequate medical and nursing personnel qualified in emergency care to meet the written emergency procedures and needs anticipated by the hospital.

(B) Except for comprehensive medical rehabilitation hospitals and pediatric and adolescent hospitals that generally provide care that is not administered for or in expectation of compensation:

(i) there shall be on duty and available at all times at least one person qualified as determined by the medical staff to initiate immediate appropriate lifesaving measures; and

(ii) in general hospitals where the emergency treatment area is not contiguous with other areas of the hospital that maintain 24 hour staffing by qualified staff (including but not limited to separation by one or more floors in multiple-occupancy buildings), qualified personnel must be physically present in the emergency treatment area at all times.

(C) Except for comprehensive medical rehabilitation hospitals and pediatric and adolescent hospitals that generally provide care that is not administered for or in expectation of compensation, the hospital shall provide that one or more physicians shall be available at all times for emergencies, as follows.

(i) General hospitals, except for hospitals designated as critical access hospitals (CAHs) by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), located in counties with a population of 100,000 or more shall have a physician qualified to provide emergency medical care on duty in the emergency treatment area at all times.

(ii) Special hospitals, hospitals designated as CAHs by the CMS, and general hospitals located in counties with a population of less than 100,000 shall have a physician on-call and able to respond in person, or by radio or telephone within 30 minutes.

(D) Schedules, names, and telephone numbers of all physicians and others on emergency call duty, including alternates, shall be maintained. Schedules shall be retained for no less than one year.

(3) Supplies and equipment. Adequate age appropriate supplies and equipment shall be available and in readiness for use. Equipment and supplies shall be available for the administration of intravenous medications as well as facilities for the control of bleeding and emergency splinting of fractures. Provision shall be made for the storage of blood and blood products as needed. The emergency equipment shall be periodically tested according to the policy adopted, implemented and enforced by the hospital.

(4) Required emergency equipment. At a minimum, the age appropriate emergency equipment and supplies shall include the following:

(A) emergency call system;

(B) oxygen;

(C) mechanical ventilatory assistance equipment, including airways, manual breathing bag, and mask;

(D) cardiac defibrillator;

(E) cardiac monitoring equipment;

(F) laryngoscopes and endotracheal tubes;

(G) suction equipment;

(H) emergency drugs and supplies specified by the medical staff;

(I) stabilization devices for cervical injuries;

(J) blood pressure monitoring equipment; and

(K) pulse oximeter or similar medical device to measure blood oxygenation.

(5) Participation in local emergency medical service (EMS) system.

(A) General hospitals shall participate in the local EMS system, based on the hospital's capabilities and capacity, and the locale's existing EMS plan and protocols.

(B) The provisions of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph do not apply to a comprehensive medical rehabilitation hospital or a pediatric and adolescent hospital that generally provides care that is not administered for or in expectation of compensation.

(6) Emergency services for sexual assault survivors. This section does not affect the duty of a health care facility to comply with the requirements of the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. §1395dd) that are applicable to the facility. The hospital shall develop, implement, and enforce policies and procedures to ensure that after a sexual assault survivor presents to the hospital following a sexual assault, the hospital shall provide the care specified under the Health and Safety Code, Chapter 323.

(f) Governing body.

(1) Legal responsibility. There shall be a governing body responsible for the organization, management, control, and operation of the hospital, including appointment of the medical staff. For hospitals owned and operated by an individual or by partners, the individual or partners shall be considered the governing body.

(2) Organization. The governing body shall be formally organized in accordance with a written constitution and bylaws which clearly set forth the organizational structure and responsibilities.

(3) Meeting records. Records of governing body meetings shall be maintained.

(4) Responsibilities relating to the medical staff.

(A) The governing body shall ensure that the medical staff has current bylaws, rules, and regulations which are implemented and enforced.

(B) The governing body shall approve medical staff bylaws and other medical staff rules and regulations.

(C) In hospitals that provide obstetrical services, the governing body shall ensure that the hospital collaborates with physicians providing services at the hospital to develop quality initiatives, through the adoption, implementation, and enforcement of appropriate hospital policies and procedures, to reduce the number of elective or nonmedically indicated induced deliveries or cesarean sections performed at the hospital on a woman before the 39th week of gestation.

(D) In hospitals that provide obstetrical services, the governing body shall ensure that the hospital implements a newborn audiological screening program, consistent with the requirements of Health and Safety Code, Chapter 47 (Hearing Loss in Newborns), and performs, either directly or through a referral to another program, audiological screenings for the identification of hearing loss on each newborn or infant born at the facility before the newborn or infant is discharged. These audiological screenings are required to be performed on all newborns or infants before discharge from the facility unless:

(i) a parent or legal guardian of the newborn or infant declines the screening;

(ii) the newborn or infant requires emergency transfer to a tertiary care facility prior to the completion of the screening;

(iii) the screening previously has been completed; or

(iv) the newborn was discharged from the facility not more than 10 hours after birth and a referral for the newborn was made to another program.

(E) In hospitals that provide obstetrical services, the governing body shall adopt, implement, and enforce policies and procedures related to the testing of any newborn for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) that may present themselves at birth. The facility shall implement testing programs for all infants born at the facility for CCHD. In the event that a newborn is presented at the emergency room following delivery at a birthing center or a home birth that may or may not have been assisted by a midwife, the facility shall ascertain if any testing for CCHD had occurred and, if not, shall provide the testing necessary to make such determination. The rules concerning the CCHD procedures and requirements are described in Chapter 37, Maternal and Infant Health Services, Subchapter E, Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease, §§37.75 - 37.79 of this title.

(F) The governing body shall determine, in accordance with state law and with the advice of the medical staff, which categories of practitioners are eligible candidates for appointment to the medical staff.

(i) In considering applications for medical staff membership and privileges or the renewal, modification, or revocation of medical staff membership and privileges, the governing body must ensure that each physician, podiatrist, and dentist is afforded procedural due process.

(I) If a hospital's credentials committee has failed to take action on a completed application as required by subclause (VIII) of this clause, or a physician, podiatrist, or dentist is subject to a professional review action that may adversely affect his medical staff membership or privileges, and the physician, podiatrist, or dentist believes that mediation of the dispute is desirable, the physician, podiatrist, or dentist may require the hospital to participate in mediation as provided in Civil Practice and Remedies Code (CPRC), Chapter 154. The mediation shall be conducted by a person meeting the qualifications required by CPRC §154.052 and within a reasonable period of time.

(II) Subclause (I) of this clause does not authorize a cause of action by a physician, podiatrist, or dentist against the hospital other than an action to require a hospital to participate in mediation.

(III) An applicant for medical staff membership or privileges may not be denied membership or privileges on any ground that is otherwise prohibited by law.

(IV) A hospital's bylaw requirements for staff privileges may require a physician, podiatrist, or dentist to document the person's current clinical competency and professional training and experience in the medical procedures for which privileges are requested.

(V) In granting or refusing medical staff membership or privileges, a hospital may not differentiate on the basis of the academic medical degree held by a physician.

(VI) Graduate medical education may be used as a standard or qualification for medical staff membership or privileges for a physician, provided that equal recognition is given to training programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and by the American Osteopathic Association.

(VII) Board certification may be used as a standard or qualification for medical staff membership or privileges for a physician, provided that equal recognition is given to certification programs approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists.

(VIII) A hospital's credentials committee shall act expeditiously and without unnecessary delay when a licensed physician, podiatrist, or dentist submits a completed application for medical staff membership or privileges. The hospital's credentials committee shall take action on the completed application not later than the 90th day after the date on which the application is received. The governing body of the hospital shall take final action on the application for medical staff membership or privileges not later than the 60th day after the date on which the recommendation of the credentials committee is received. The hospital must notify the applicant in writing of the hospital's final action, including a reason for denial or restriction of privileges, not later than the 20th day after the date on which final action is taken.

(ii) The governing body is authorized to adopt, implement and enforce policies concerning the granting of clinical privileges to advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and physician assistants, including policies relating to the application process, reasonable qualifications for privileges, and the process for renewal, modification, or revocation of privileges.

(I) If the governing body of a hospital has adopted, implemented and enforced a policy of granting clinical privileges to APRNs or physician assistants, an individual APRN or physician assistant who qualifies for privileges under that policy shall be entitled to certain procedural rights to provide fairness of process, as determined by the governing body of the hospital, when an application for privileges is submitted to the hospital. At a minimum, any policy adopted shall specify a reasonable period for the processing and consideration of the application and shall provide for written notification to the applicant of any final action on the application by the hospital, including any reason for denial or restriction of the privileges requested.

(II) If an APRN or physician assistant has been granted clinical privileges by a hospital, the hospital may not modify or revoke those privileges without providing certain procedural rights to provide fairness of process, as determined by the governing body of the hospital, to the APRN or physician assistant. At a minimum, the hospital shall provide the APRN or physician assistant written reasons for the modification or revocation of privileges and a mechanism for appeal to the appropriate committee or body within the hospital, as determined by the governing body of the hospital.

(III) If a hospital extends clinical privileges to an APRN or physician assistant conditioned on the APRN or physician assistant having a sponsoring or collaborating relationship with a physician and that relationship ceases to exist, the APRN or physician assistant and the physician shall provide written notification to the hospital that the relationship no longer exists. Once the hospital receives such notice from an APRN or physician assistant and the physician, the hospital shall be deemed to have met its obligations under this section by notifying the APRN or physician assistant in writing that the APRN's or physician assistant's clinical privileges no longer exist at that hospital.

(IV) Nothing in this clause shall be construed as modifying Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code, Chapter 204 or 301, or any other law relating to the scope of practice of physicians, APRNs, or physician assistants.

(V) This clause does not apply to an employer-employee relationship between an APRN or physician assistant and a hospital.

(G) The governing body shall ensure that the hospital complies with the requirements concerning physician communication and contracts as set out in Health and Safety Code, §241.1015 (Physician Communication and Contracts).

(H) The governing body shall ensure the hospital complies with the requirements for reporting to the Texas Medical Board the results and circumstances of any professional review action in accordance with the Medical Practice Act, Occupations Code, §160.002 and §160.003.

(I) The governing body shall be responsible for and ensure that any policies and procedures adopted by the governing body to implement the requirements of this chapter shall be implemented and enforced.

(5) Hospital administration. The governing body shall appoint a chief executive officer or administrator who is responsible for managing the hospital.

(6) Patient care. In accordance with hospital policy adopted, implemented and enforced, the governing body shall ensure that:

(A) every patient is under the care of:

(i) a physician. This provision is not to be construed to limit the authority of a physician to delegate tasks to other qualified health care personnel to the extent recognized under state law or the state's regulatory mechanism;

(ii) a dentist who is legally authorized to practice dentistry by the state and who is acting within the scope of his or her license; or

(iii) a podiatrist, but only with respect to functions which he or she is legally authorized by the state to perform.

(B) patients are admitted to the hospital only by members of the medical staff who have been granted admitting privileges;

(C) a physician is on duty or on-call at all times;

(D) specific colored condition alert wrist bands that have been standardized for all hospitals licensed under Health and Safety Code, Chapter 241, are used as follows:

(i) red wrist bands for allergies;

(ii) yellow wrist bands for fall risks; and

(iii) purple wrist bands for do not resuscitate status;

(E) the governing body shall consider the addition of the following optional condition alert wrist bands. This consideration must be documented in the minutes of the meeting of the governing body in which the discussion was held:

(i) green wrist bands for latex allergy; and

(ii) pink wrist bands for restricted extremity; and

(F) the governing body shall adopt, implement, and enforce a policy and procedure regarding the removal of personal wrist bands and bracelets as well as a patient's right to refuse to wear condition alert wrist bands; and

(G) the governing body shall adopt, implement, and enforce policies and procedures regarding DNR orders issued in the hospital by the attending physician that comply with Health and Safety Code, Chapter 166, Subchapter E (relating to Health Care Facility Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders), including policies and procedures regarding the rights of a patient and person authorized to make treatment decisions regarding the patient's DNR status; notice and medical record requirements for DNR orders and revocations; and actions the attending physician and hospital must take pursuant to Health and Safety Code §166.206 when the attending physician or hospital and the patient or person authorized to make treatment decisions regarding the patient's DNR status are in disagreement about the execution of, or compliance with, a DNR order. The policies and procedures shall include that:

(i) Except in circumstances described by Health and Safety Code §166.203(a)(2), a DNR order issued for a patient is valid only if the patient's attending physician issues the order, the order is dated, and the order is issued in compliance with:

(I) the written and dated directions of a patient who was competent at the time the patient wrote the directions;

(II) the oral directions of a competent patient delivered to or observed by two competent adult witnesses, at least one of whom must be a person not listed under Health and Safety Code §166.003(2)(E) or (F);

(III) the directions in an advance directive enforceable under Health and Safety Code §166.005 or executed in accordance with Health and Safety Code §§166.032, 166.034, or 166.035;

(IV) the directions of a patient's legal guardian or agent under a medical power of attorney acting in accordance with Health and Safety Code, Chapter 166, Subchapter D (relating to Medical Power of Attorney); or

(V) a treatment decision made in accordance with Health Safety Code §166.039.

(ii) A DNR order that is not issued in accordance with Health and Safety Code §166.203(a)(1) is valid only if the patient's attending physician issues the order, the order is dated, and:

(I) the order is not contrary to the directions of a patient who was competent at the time the patient conveyed the directions;

(II) in the reasonable medical judgment of the patient's attending physician, the patient's death is imminent, regardless of the provision of cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and

(III) in the reasonable medical judgment of the patient's attending physician, the DNR order is medically appropriate.

(iii) A DNR order takes effect at the time the order is issued, as provided by Health and Safety Code §166.203(b).

(iv) Before placing in a patient's medical record a DNR order described by Health and Safety Code §166.203(a)(2), the physician, physician assistant, nurse, or other person acting on behalf of the hospital shall:

(I) notify the patient of the order's issuance; or

(II) if the patient is incompetent, make a reasonably diligent effort to contact or cause to be contacted and notify of the order's issuance the patient's known agent under a medical power of attorney or legal guardian or, for a patient who does not have a known agent under a medical power of attorney or legal guardian, a person described by Health and Safety Code §166.039(b)(1), (2), or (3).

(v) A physician providing direct care to a patient for whom a DNR order is issued shall revoke the patient's DNR order if the patient, or the patient's agent under a medical power of attorney or the patient's legal guardian if the patient is incompetent:

(I) effectively revokes an advance directive, in accordance with Health and Safety Code §166.042, for which a DNR order is issued under Health and Safety Code §166.203(a); or

(II) expresses to any person providing direct care to the patient a revocation of consent to or intent to revoke a DNR order issued under Health and Safety Code §166.203(a).

(vi) A person providing direct care to a patient under the supervision of a physician shall notify the physician of a request to revoke a DNR order under Health and Safety Code §166.205(a).

(vii) A patient's attending physician may at any time revoke a DNR order executed under Health and Safety Code §166.203(a)(2).

(viii) On admission to the hospital, the hospital shall provide to the patient or person authorized to make treatment decisions regarding the patient's DNR status notice of the policies and procedures adopted under this subparagraph.

(7) Services. The governing body shall be responsible for all services furnished in the hospital, whether furnished directly or under contract. The governing body shall ensure that services are provided in a safe and effective manner that permits the hospital to comply with applicable rules and standards. At hospitals that have a mental health service unit, the governing body shall adopt, implement, and enforce procedures for the completion of criminal background checks on all prospective employees that would be considered for assignment to that unit, except for persons currently licensed by this state as health professionals.

(8) Nurse Staffing. The governing body shall adopt, implement and enforce a written nurse staffing policy to ensure that an adequate number and skill mix of nurses are available to meet the level of patient care needed. The governing body policy shall require that hospital administration adopt, implement and enforce a nurse staffing plan and policies that:

(A) require significant consideration be given to the nurse staffing plan recommended by the hospital's nurse staffing committee and the committee's evaluation of any existing plan;

(B) are based on the needs of each patient care unit and shift and on evidence relating to patient care needs;

(C) ensure that all nursing assignments consider client safety, and are commensurate with the nurse's educational preparation, experience, knowledge, and physical and emotional ability;

(D) require use of the official nurse services staffing plan as a component in setting the nurse staffing budget;

(E) encourage nurses to provide input to the nurse staffing committee relating to nurse staffing concerns;

(F) protect from retaliation nurses who provide input to the nurse staffing committee; and

(G) comply with subsection (o) of this section.

(9) Photo identification badge. The governing body shall adopt a policy requiring employees, physicians, contracted employees, and individuals in training who provide direct patient care at the hospital to wear a photo identification badge during all patient encounters, unless precluded by adopted isolation or sterilization protocols. The badge must be of sufficient size and worn in a manner to be visible and must clearly state:

(A) at minimum the individual's first or last name;

(B) the department of the hospital with which the individual is associated;

(C) the type of license held by the individual, if applicable under Title 3, Occupations Code; and

(D) the provider's status as a student, intern, trainee, or resident, if applicable.

(g) Infection control. The hospital shall provide a sanitary environment to avoid sources and transmission of infections and communicable diseases. There shall be an active program for the prevention, control, and surveillance of infections and communicable diseases.

(1) Organization and policies. A person shall be designated as infection control professional. The hospital shall ensure that policies governing prevention, control and surveillance of infections and communicable diseases are developed, implemented and enforced.

(A) There shall be a system for identifying, reporting, investigating, and controlling health care associated infections and communicable diseases between patients and personnel.

(B) The infection control professional shall maintain a log of all reportable diseases and health care associated infections designated as epidemiologically significant according to the hospital's infection control policies.

(C) A written policy shall be adopted, implemented and enforced for reporting all reportable diseases to the local health authority and the Infectious Disease Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch, Department of State Health Services, Mail Code 2822, P.O. Box 149347, Austin, Texas 78714-9347, in accordance with Chapter 97 of this title (relating to Communicable Diseases), and Health and Safety Code, §§98.103, 98.104, and 98.1045 (relating to Reportable Infections, Alternative for Reportable Surgical Site Infections, and Reporting of Preventable Adverse Events).

(D) The infection control program shall include active participation by the pharmacist.

(2) Responsibilities of the chief executive officer (CEO), medical staff, and chief nursing officer (CNO). The CEO, the medical staff, and the CNO shall be responsible for the following.

(A) The hospital-wide quality assessment and performance improvement program and training programs shall address problems identified by the infection control professional.

(B) Successful corrective action plans in affected problem areas shall be implemented.

(3) Universal precautions. The hospital shall adopt, implement, and enforce a written policy to monitor compliance of the hospital and its personnel and medical staff with universal precautions in accordance with HSC Chapter 85, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection.

(h) Laboratory services. The hospital shall maintain directly, or have available adequate laboratory services to meet the needs of its patients.

(1) Hospital laboratory services. A hospital that provides laboratory services shall comply with the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA 1988), in accordance with the requirements specified in 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §§493.1 - 493.1780. CLIA 1988 applies to all hospitals with laboratories that examine human specimens for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of any disease or impairment of, or the assessment of the health of, human beings.

(2) Contracted laboratory services. The hospital shall ensure that all laboratory services provided to its patients through a contractual agreement are performed in a facility certified in the appropriate specialties and subspecialties of service in accordance with the requirements specified in 42 CFR Part 493 to comply with CLIA 1988.

(3) Adequacy of laboratory services. The hospital shall ensure the following.

(A) Emergency laboratory services shall be available 24 hours a day.

(B) A written description of services provided shall be available to the medical staff.

(C) The laboratory shall make provision for proper receipt and reporting of tissue specimens.

(D) The medical staff and a pathologist shall determine which tissue specimens require a macroscopic (gross) examination and which require both macroscopic and microscopic examination.

(E) When blood and blood components are stored, there shall be written procedures readily available containing directions on how to maintain them within permissible temperatures and including instructions to be followed in the event of a power failure or other disruption of refrigeration. A label or tray with the recipient's first and last names and identification number, donor unit number and interpretation of compatibility, if performed, shall be attached securely to the blood container.

(F) The hospital shall establish a mechanism for ensuring that the patient's physician or other licensed health care professional is made aware of critical value lab results, as established by the medical staff, before or after the patient is discharged.

(4) Chemical hygiene. A hospital that provides laboratory services shall adopt, implement, and enforce written policies and procedures to manage, minimize, or eliminate the risks to laboratory personnel of exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals in the laboratory which may occur during the normal course of job performance.

(i) Linen and laundry services. The hospital shall provide sufficient clean linen to ensure the comfort of the patient.

(1) For purposes of this subsection, contaminated linen is linen which has been soiled with blood or other potentially infectious materials or may contain sharps. Other potentially infectious materials means:

(A) the following human body fluids: semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids;

(B) any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a human (living or dead); and

(C) Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV or Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)-containing culture medium or other solutions; and blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental animals infected with HIV or HBV.

(2) The hospital, whether it operates its own laundry or uses commercial service, shall ensure the following.

(A) Employees of a hospital involved in transporting, processing, or otherwise handling clean or soiled linen shall be given initial and follow-up in-service training to ensure a safe product for patients and to safeguard employees in their work.

(B) Clean linen shall be handled, transported, and stored by methods that will ensure its cleanliness.

(C) All contaminated linen shall be placed and transported in bags or containers labeled or color-coded.

(D) Employees who have contact with contaminated linen shall wear gloves and other appropriate personal protective equipment.

(E) Contaminated linen shall be handled as little as possible and with a minimum of agitation. Contaminated linen shall not be sorted or rinsed in patient care areas.

(F) All contaminated linen shall be bagged or put into carts at the location where it was used.

(i) Bags containing contaminated linen shall be closed prior to transport to the laundry.

(ii) Whenever contaminated linen is wet and presents a reasonable likelihood of soak-through of or leakage from the bag or container, the linen shall be deposited and transported in bags that prevent leakage of fluids to the exterior.

(iii) All linen placed in chutes shall be bagged.

(iv) If chutes are not used to convey linen to a central receiving or sorting room, then adequate space shall be allocated on the various nursing units for holding the bagged contaminated linen.

(G) Linen shall be processed as follows:

(i) If hot water is used, linen shall be washed with detergent in water with a temperature of at least 71 degrees Centigrade (160 degrees Fahrenheit) for 25 minutes. Hot water requirements specified in Table 5 of §133.169(e) of this title (relating to Tables) shall be met.

(ii) If low-temperature (less than or equal to 70 degrees Centigrade) (158 degrees Fahrenheit) laundry cycles are used, chemicals suitable for low-temperature washing at proper use concentration shall be used.

(iii) Commercial dry cleaning of fabrics soiled with blood also renders these items free of the risk of pathogen transmission.

(H) Flammable liquids shall not be used to process laundry, but may be used for equipment maintenance.

(j) Medical record services. The hospital shall have a medical record service that has administrative responsibility for medical records. A medical record shall be maintained for every individual who presents to the hospital for evaluation or treatment.

(1) The organization of the medical record service shall be appropriate to the scope and complexity of the services performed. The hospital shall employ or contract with adequate personnel to ensure prompt completion, filing, and retrieval of records.

(2) The hospital shall have a system of coding and indexing medical records. The system shall allow for timely retrieval by diagnosis and procedure, in order to support medical care evaluation studies.

(3) The hospital shall adopt, implement, and enforce a policy to ensure that the hospital complies with HSC, Chapter 241, Subchapter G (Disclosure of Health Care Information) and Subchapter E, §241.103 (Preservation of Records) and §241.1031 (relating to Preservation of Record from Forensic Medical Examination).

(4) The medical record shall contain information to justify admission and continued hospitalization, support the diagnosis, reflect significant changes in the patient's condition, and describe the patient's progress and response to medications and services. Medical records shall be accurately written, promptly completed, properly filed and retained, and accessible.

(5) If an attending physician issues a DNR order for a patient under Health and Safety Code, Chapter 166, Subchapter E (relating to Health Care Facility Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders), that order shall be entered into the patient medical record as soon as practicable. In the event a physician revokes a DNR order under Health and Safety Code, Chapter 166, Subchapter E, that revocation shall be entered into the patient medical record as soon as practicable. To the extent this paragraph conflicts with requirements elsewhere in this subsection, this paragraph prevails.

(6) Medical record entries must be legible, complete, dated, timed, and authenticated in written or electronic form by the person responsible for providing or evaluating the service provided, consistent with hospital policies and procedures.

(7) All orders (except verbal orders) must be dated, timed, and authenticated the next time the prescriber or another practitioner who is responsible for the care of the patient and has been credentialed by the medical staff and granted privileges which are consistent with the written orders provides care to the patient, assesses the patient, or documents information in the patient's medical record.

(8) All verbal orders must be dated, timed, and authenticated within 96 hours by the prescriber or another practitioner who is responsible for the care of the patient and has been credentialed by the medical staff and granted privileges which are consistent with the written orders.

(A) Use of signature stamps by physicians and other licensed practitioners credentialed by the medical staff may be allowed in hospitals when the signature stamp is authorized by the individual whose signature the stamp represents. The administrative offices of the hospital shall have on file a signed statement to the effect that he or she is the only one who has the stamp and uses it. The use of a signature stamp by any other person is prohibited.

(B) A list of computer codes and written signatures shall be readily available and shall be maintained under adequate safeguards.

(C) Signatures by facsimile shall be acceptable. If received on a thermal machine, the facsimile document shall be copied onto regular paper.

(9) Medical records (reports and printouts) shall be retained by the hospital in their original or legally reproduced form for a period of at least ten years. A legally reproduced form is a medical record retained in hard copy, microform (microfilm or microfiche), or other electronic medium. Films, scans, and other image records shall be retained for a period of at least five years. For retention purposes, medical records that shall be preserved for ten years include:

(A) identification data;

(B) the medical history of the patient;

(C) evidence of a physical examination, including a health history, performed no more than 30 days prior to admission or within 24 hours after admission. The medical history and physical examination shall be placed in the patient's medical record within 24 hours after admission;

(D) an updated medical record entry documenting an examination for any changes in the patient's condition when the medical history and physical examination are completed within 30 days before admission. This updated examination shall be completed and documented in the patient's medical record within 24 hours after admission;

(E) admitting diagnosis;

(F) diagnostic and therapeutic orders;

(G) properly executed informed consent forms for procedures and treatments specified by the medical staff, or by federal or state laws if applicable, to require written patient consent;

(H) clinical observations, including the results of therapy and treatment, all orders, nursing notes, medication records, vital signs, and other information necessary to monitor the patient's condition;

(I) reports of procedures, tests, and their results, including laboratory, pathology, and radiology reports;

(J) results of all consultative evaluations of the patient and appropriate findings by clinical and other staff involved in the care of the patient;

(K) discharge summary with outcome of hospitalization, disposition of care, and provisions for follow-up care; and

(L) final diagnosis with completion of medical records within 30 calendar days following discharge.

(10) A hospital may not destroy a medical record from the forensic medical examination of a sexual assault victim until the 20th anniversary of the date the record was created, in accordance with HSC, Chapter 241, Subchapter E, §241.1031.

(11) If a patient was less than 18 years of age at the time he was last treated, the hospital may authorize the disposal of those medical records relating to the patient on or after the date of his 20th birthday or on or after the 10th anniversary of the date on which he was last treated, whichever date is later.

(12) The hospital shall not destroy medical records that relate to any matter that is involved in litigation if the hospital knows the litigation has not been finally resolved.

(13) The hospital shall provide written notice to a patient, or a patient's legally authorized representative, that the hospital may authorize the disposal of medical records relating to the patient on or after the periods specified in this section. The notice shall be provided to the patient or the patient's legally authorized representative not later than the date on which the patient who is or will be the subject of a medical record is treated, except in an emergency treatment situation. In an emergency treatment situation, the notice shall be provided to the patient or the patient's legally authorized representative as soon as is reasonably practicable following the emergency treatment situation.

(14) If a licensed hospital should close, the hospital shall notify the department at the time of closure the disposition of the medical records, including the location of where the medical records will be stored and the identity and telephone number of the custodian of the records.

(k) Medical staff.

(1) The medical staff shall be composed of physicians and may also be composed of podiatrists, dentists and other practitioners appointed by the governing body.

(A) The medical staff shall periodically conduct appraisals of its members according to medical staff bylaws.

(B) The medical staff shall examine credentials of candidates for medical staff membership and make recommendations to the governing body on the appointment of the candidate.

(2) The medical staff shall be well-organized and accountable to the governing body for the quality of the medical care provided to patients.

(A) The medical staff shall be organized in a manner approved by the governing body.

(B) If the medical staff has an executive committee, a majority of the members of the committee shall be doctors of medicine or osteopathy.

(C) Records of medical staff meetings shall be maintained.

(D) The responsibility for organization and conduct of the medical staff shall be assigned only to an individual physician.

(E) Each medical staff member shall sign a statement signifying they will abide by medical staff and hospital policies.

(3) The medical staff shall adopt, implement, and enforce bylaws, rules, and regulations to carry out its responsibilities. The bylaws shall:

(A) be approved by the governing body;

(B) include a statement of the duties and privileges of each category of medical staff (e.g., active, courtesy, consultant);

(C) describe the organization of the medical staff;

(D) describe the qualifications to be met by a candidate in order for the medical staff to recommend that the candidate be appointed by the governing body;

(E) include criteria for determining the privileges to be granted and a procedure for applying the criteria to individuals requesting privileges;

(F) include a requirement that a physical examination and medical history be done no more than 30 days before or 24 hours after an admission for each patient by a physician or other qualified practitioner who has been granted these privileges by the medical staff. The medical history and physical examination shall be placed in the patient's medical record within 24 hours after admission. When the medical history and physical examination are completed within the 30 days before admission, an updated examination for any changes in the patient's condition must be completed and documented in the patient's medical record within 24 hours after admission; and

(G) include procedures regarding DNR orders issued in the hospital by an attending physician that comply with Health and Safety Code, Chapter 166, Subchapter E (relating to Health Care Facility Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders), including policies and procedures regarding the rights of a patient and person authorized to make treatment decisions regarding the patient's DNR status; notice and medical record requirements for DNR orders and revocations; and actions the attending physician and hospital must take pursuant to Health and Safety Code §166.206 when the attending physician or hospital and the patient or person authorized to make treatment decisions regarding the patient's DNR status are in disagreement about the execution of, or compliance with, a DNR order. The procedures shall include that:

(i) Except in circumstances described by Health and Safety Code §166.203(a)(2), a DNR order issued for a patient is valid only if the patient's attending physician issues the order, the order is dated, and the order is issued in compliance with:

(I) the written and dated directions of a patient who was competent at the time the patient wrote the directions;

(II) the oral directions of a competent patient delivered to or observed by two competent adult witnesses, at least one of whom must be a person not listed under Health and Safety Code §166.003(2)(E) or (F);

(III) the directions in an advance directive enforceable under Health and Safety Code §166.005 or executed in accordance with Health and Safety Code §§166.032, 166.034, or 166.035;

(IV) the directions of a patient's legal guardian or agent under a medical power of attorney acting in accordance with Health and Safety Code, Chapter 166, Subchapter D (relating to Medical Power of Attorney); or

(V) a treatment decision made in accordance with Health Safety Code §166.039.

(ii) A DNR order that is not issued in accordance with Health and Safety Code §166.203(a)(1) is valid only if the patient's attending physician issues the order, the order is dated, and:

(I) the order is not contrary to the directions of a patient who was competent at the time the patient conveyed the directions;

(II) in the reasonable medical judgment of the patient's attending physician, the patient's death is imminent, regardless of the provision of cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and

(III) in the reasonable medical judgment of the patient's attending physician, the DNR order is medically appropriate.

(iii) A DNR order takes effect at the time the order is issued, as provided by Health and Safety Code §166.203(b).

(iv) Before placing in a patient's medical record a DNR order described by Health and Safety Code §166.203(a)(2), the physician, physician assistant, nurse, or other person acting on behalf of the hospital shall:

(I) notify the patient of the order's issuance; or

(II) if the patient is incompetent, make a reasonably diligent effort to contact or cause to be contacted and inform of the order's issuance the patient's known agent under a medical power of attorney or legal guardian or, for a patient who does not have a known agent under a medical power of attorney or legal guardian, a person described by Health and Safety Code §166.039(b)(1), (2), or (3).

(v) A physician providing direct care to a patient for whom a DNR order is issued shall revoke the patient's DNR order if the patient or the patient's agent under a medical power of attorney or the patient's legal guardian if the patient is incompetent:

(I) effectively revokes an advance directive, in accordance with Health and Safety Code §166.042, for which a DNR order is issued under Health and Safety Code §166.203(a); or

(II) expresses to any person providing direct care to the patient a revocation of consent to or intent to revoke a DNR order issued under Health and Safety Code §166.203(a).

(vi) A person providing direct care to a patient under the supervision of a physician shall notify the physician of the request to revoke a DNR order under Health and Safety Code §166.205(a).

(vii) A patient's attending physician may at any time revoke a DNR order executed under Health and Safety Code §166.203(a)(2).

(l) Mental health services.

(1) Mental health services unit. A hospital may not admit patients to a mental health services unit unless the unit is approved by the department as meeting the requirements of §133.163(q) of this title.

(2) Admission criteria. A hospital providing mental health services shall have written admission criteria that are applied uniformly to all patients who are admitted to the service.

(A) The hospital's admission criteria shall include procedures to prevent the admission of minors for a condition which is not generally recognized as responsive to treatment in an inpatient setting for mental health services.

(i) The following conditions are not generally recognized as responsive to treatment in a hospital unless the minor to be admitted is qualified because of other disabilities, such as:

(I) cognitive disabilities due to intellectual disability; or

(II) learning disabilities.

(ii) A minor may be qualified for admission based on other disabilities which would be responsive to mental health services.

(B) The medical record shall contain evidence that admission consent was given by the patient, the patient's legal guardian, or the managing conservator, if applicable.

(C) The hospital shall have a preadmission examination procedure under which each patient's condition and medical history are reviewed by a member of the medical staff to determine whether the patient is likely to benefit significantly from an intensive inpatient program or assessment.

(D) A voluntarily admitted patient shall sign an admission consent form prior to admission to a mental health unit which includes verification that the patient has been informed of the services to be provided and the estimated charges.

(3) Compliance. A hospital providing mental health services shall comply with the following rules administered by the department. The rules are:

(A) Chapter 411, Subchapter J of this title (relating to Standards of Care and Treatment in Psychiatric Hospitals);

(B) Chapter 404, Subchapter E of this title (relating to Rights of Persons Receiving Mental Health Services);

(C) Chapter 405, Subchapter E of this title (relating to Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT));

(D) Chapter 414, Subchapter I of this title (relating to Consent to Treatment with Psychoactive Medication--Mental Health Services); and

(E) Chapter 415, Subchapter F of this title (relating to Interventions in Mental Health Programs).

(m) Mobile, transportable, and relocatable units. The hospital shall adopt, implement and enforce procedures which address the potential emergency needs for those inpatients who are taken to mobile units on the hospital's premises for diagnostic procedures or treatment.

(n) Nuclear medicine services. If the hospital provides nuclear medicine services, these services shall meet the needs of the patients in accordance with acceptable standards of practice and be licensed in accordance with §289.256 of this title (relating to Medical and Veterinary Use of Radioactive Material).

(1) Policies and procedures. Policies and procedures shall be adopted, implemented, and enforced which will describe the services nuclear medicine provides in the hospital and how employee and patient safety will be maintained.

(2) Organization and staffing. The organization of the nuclear medicine services shall be appropriate to the scope and complexity of the services offered.

(A) There shall be a medical director or clinical director who is a physician qualified in nuclear medicine.

(B) The qualifications, training, functions, and responsibilities of nuclear medicine personnel shall be specified by the medical director or clinical director and approved by the medical staff.

(3) Delivery of services. Radioactive materials shall be prepared, labeled, used, transported, stored, and disposed of in accordance with acceptable standards of practice and in accordance with §289.256 of this title.

(A) In-house preparation of radiopharmaceuticals shall be by, or under, the direct supervision of an appropriately trained licensed pharmacist or physician.

(B) There shall be proper storage and disposal of radioactive materials.

(C) If clinical laboratory tests are performed by the nuclear medicine services staff, the nuclear medicine staff shall comply with CLIA 1988 in accordance with the requirements specified in 42 CFR Part 493.

(D) Nuclear medicine workers shall be provided personnel monitoring dosimeters to measure their radiation exposure. Exposure reports and documentation shall be available for review.

(4) Equipment and supplies. Equipment and supplies shall be appropriate for the types of nuclear medicine services offered and shall be maintained for safe and efficient performance. The equipment shall be inspected, tested, and calibrated at least annually by qualified personnel.

(5) Records. The hospital shall maintain signed and dated reports of nuclear medicine interpretations, consultations, and procedures.

(A) The physician approved by the medical staff to interpret diagnostic procedures shall sign and date the interpretations of these tests.

(B) The hospital shall maintain records of the receipt and disposition of radiopharmaceuticals until disposal is authorized by the department's Radiation Safety Licensing Branch in accordance with §289.256 of this title.

(C) Nuclear medicine services shall be ordered only by an individual whose scope of state licensure and whose defined staff privileges allow such referrals.

(o) Nursing services. The hospital shall have an organized nursing service that provides 24-hour nursing services as needed.

(1) Organization. The hospital shall have a well-organized service with a plan of administrative authority and delineation of responsibilities for patient care.

(A) Nursing services shall be under the administrative authority of a chief nursing officer (CNO) who shall be an RN and comply with one of the following:

(i) possess a master's degree in nursing;

(ii) possess a master's degree in health care administration or business administration;

(iii) possess a master's degree in a health-related field obtained through a curriculum that included courses in administration and management; or

(iv) be progressing under a written plan to obtain the nursing administration qualifications associated with a master's degree in nursing. The plan shall:

(I) describe efforts to obtain the knowledge associated with graduate education and to increase administrative and management skills and experience;

(II) include courses related to leadership, administration, management, performance improvement and theoretical approaches to delivering nursing care; and

(III) provide a time-line for accomplishing skills.

(B) The CNO in hospitals with 100 or fewer licensed beds and located in counties with a population of less than 50,000, or in hospitals that have been certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as critical access hospitals in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 42, Volume 3, Part 485, Subpart F, §485.606(b), shall be exempted from the requirements in subparagraph (A)(i) - (iv) of this paragraph.

(C) The CNO shall be responsible for the operation of the services, including determining the types and numbers of nursing personnel and staff necessary to provide nursing care for all areas of the hospital.

(D) The CNO shall report directly to the individual who has authority to represent the hospital and who is responsible for the operation of the hospital according to the policies and procedures of the hospital's governing board.

(E) The CNO shall participate with leadership from the governing body, medical staff, and clinical areas, in planning, promoting and conducting performance improvement activities.

(2) Staffing and delivery of care.

(A) The nursing services shall adopt, implement and enforce a procedure to verify that hospital nursing personnel for whom licensure is required have valid and current licensure.

(B) There shall be adequate numbers of RNs, licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), and other personnel to provide nursing care to all patients as needed.

(C) There shall be supervisory and staff personnel for each department or nursing unit to provide, when needed, the immediate availability of an RN to provide care for any patient.

(D) An RN shall be on duty in each building of a licensed hospital that contains at least one nursing unit where patients are present. The RN shall supervise and evaluate the nursing care for each patient and assign the nursing care to other nursing personnel in accordance with the patient's needs and the specialized qualifications and competence of the nursing staff available.

(E) The nursing staff shall develop and keep current a nursing plan of care for each patient which addresses the patient's needs.

(F) The hospital shall establish a nurse staffing committee as a standing committee of the hospital. The committee shall be established in accordance with Health and Safety Code (HSC), §§161.031 - 161.033, to be responsible for soliciting and receiving input from nurses on the development, ongoing monitoring, and evaluation of the staffing plan. As provided by HSC, §161.032, the hospital's records and review relating to evaluation of these outcomes and indicators are confidential and not subject to disclosure under Government Code, Chapter 552 and not subject to disclosure, discovery, subpoena or other means of legal compulsion for their release. As used in this subsection, "committee" or "staffing committee" means a nurse staffing committee established under this subparagraph.

(p) Outpatient services. If the hospital provides outpatient services, the services shall meet the needs of the patients in accordance with acceptable standards of practice.

(1) Organization. Outpatient services shall be appropriately organized and integrated with inpatient services.

(2) Personnel.

(A) The hospital shall assign an individual to be responsible for outpatient services.

(B) The hospital shall have appropriate physicians on staff and other professional and nonprofessional personnel available.

(q) Pharmacy services. The hospital shall provide pharmaceutical services that meet the needs of the patients.

(1) Compliance. The hospital shall provide a pharmacy which is licensed, as required, by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. Pharmacy services shall comply with all applicable statutes and rules.

(2) Organization. The hospital shall have a pharmacy directed by a licensed pharmacist.

(3) Medical staff. The medical staff shall be responsible for developing policies and procedures that minimize drug errors. This function may be delegated to the hospital's organized pharmaceutical services.

(4) Pharmacy management and administration. The pharmacy or drug storage area shall be administered in accordance with accepted professional principles.

(A) Standards of practice as defined by state law shall be followed regarding the provision of pharmacy services.

(B) The pharmaceutical services shall have an adequate number of personnel to ensure quality pharmaceutical services including emergency services.

(i) The staff shall be sufficient in number and training to respond to the pharmaceutical needs of the patient population being served. There shall be an arrangement for emergency services.

(ii) Employees shall provide pharmaceutical services within the scope of their license and education.

(C) Drugs and biologicals shall be properly stored to ensure ventilation, light, security, and temperature controls.

(D) Records shall have sufficient detail to follow the flow of drugs from entry through dispensation.

(E) There shall be adequate controls over all drugs and medications including the floor stock. Drug storage areas shall be approved by the pharmacist, and floor stock lists shall be established.

(F) Inspections of drug storage areas shall be conducted throughout the hospital under pharmacist supervision.

(G) There shall be a drug recall procedure.

(H) A full-time, part-time, or consulting pharmacist shall be responsible for developing, supervising, and coordinating all the activities of the pharmacy services.

(i) Direction of pharmaceutical services may not require on-premises supervision but may be accomplished through regularly scheduled visits in accordance with state law.

(ii) A job description or other written agreement shall clearly define the responsibilities of the pharmacist.

(I) Current and accurate records shall be kept of the receipt and disposition of all scheduled drugs.

(i) There shall be a record system in place that provides the information on controlled substances in a readily retrievable manner which is separate from the patient record.

(ii) Records shall trace the movement of scheduled drugs throughout the services, documenting utilization or wastage.

(iii) The pharmacist shall be responsible for determining that all drug records are in order and that an account of all scheduled drugs is maintained and reconciled with written orders.

(5) Delivery of services. In order to provide patient safety, drugs and biologicals shall be controlled and distributed in accordance with applicable standards of practice, consistent with federal and state laws.

(A) All compounding, packaging, and dispensing of drugs and biologicals shall be under the supervision of a pharmacist and performed consistent with federal and state laws.

(B) All drugs and biologicals shall be kept in a secure area, and locked when appropriate.

(i) A policy shall be adopted, implemented, and enforced to ensure the safeguarding, transferring, and availability of keys to the locked storage area.

(ii) Drugs listed in Schedules II, III, IV, and V of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 shall be kept locked within a secure area.

(C) Outdated, mislabeled, or otherwise unusable drugs and biologicals shall not be available for patient use.

(D) When a pharmacist is not available, drugs and biologicals shall be removed from the pharmacy or storage area only by personnel designated in the policies of the medical staff and pharmaceutical service, in accordance with federal and state laws.

(i) There shall be a current list of individuals identified by name and qualifications who are designated to remove drugs from the pharmacy.

(ii) Only amounts sufficient for immediate therapeutic needs shall be removed.

(E) Drugs and biologicals not specifically prescribed as to time or number of doses shall automatically be stopped after a reasonable time that is predetermined by the medical staff.

(i) Stop order policies and procedures shall be consistent with those of the nursing staff and the medical staff rules and regulations.

(ii) A protocol shall be established by the medical staff for the implementation of the stop order policy, in order that drugs shall be reviewed and renewed, or automatically stopped.

(iii) A system shall be in place to determine compliance with the stop order policy.

(F) Drug administration errors, adverse drug reactions, and incompatibilities shall be immediately reported to the attending physician and, if appropriate, to the hospital-wide quality assessment and performance improvement program. There shall be a mechanism in place for capturing, reviewing, and tracking medication errors and adverse drug reactions.

(G) Abuses and losses of controlled substances shall be reported, in accordance with applicable federal and state laws, to the individual responsible for the pharmaceutical services, and to the chief executive officer, as appropriate.

(H) Information relating to drug interactions and information on drug therapy, side effects, toxicology, dosage, indications for use, and routes of administration shall be immediately available to the professional staff.

(i) A pharmacist shall be readily accessible by telephone or other means to discuss drug therapy, interactions, side effects, dosage, assist in drug selection, and assist in the identification of drug induced problems.

(ii) There shall be staff development programs on drug therapy available to facility staff to cover such topics as new drugs added to the formulary, how to resolve drug therapy problems, and other general information as the need arises.

(I) A formulary system shall be established by the medical staff to ensure quality pharmaceuticals at reasonable costs.

(r) Quality assessment and performance improvement. The governing body shall ensure that there is an effective, ongoing, hospital-wide, data-driven quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI) program to evaluate the provision of patient care.

(1) Program scope. The hospital-wide QAPI program shall reflect the complexity of the hospital's organization and services and have a written plan of implementation. The program must include an ongoing program that shows measurable improvements in the indicators for which there is evidence that they will improve health outcomes, and identify and reduce medical errors.

(A) All hospital departments and services, including services furnished under contract or arrangement shall be evaluated.

(B) Health care associated infections shall be evaluated.

(C) Medication therapy shall be evaluated.

(D) All medical and surgical services performed in the hospital shall be evaluated as they relate to appropriateness of diagnosis and treatment.

(E) The program must measure, analyze and track quality indicators, including adverse patients' events, and other aspects of performance that assess processes of care, hospital services and operations.

(F) Data collected must be used to monitor the effectiveness and safety of service and quality of care, and to identify opportunities for changes that will lead to improvement.

(G) Priorities must be established for performance improvement activities that focus on high-risk, high-volume, or problem-prone areas, taking into consideration the incidence, prevalence and severity of problems in those areas, and how health outcomes and quality of care may be affected.

(H) Performance improvement activities which affect patient safety, including analysis of medical errors and adverse patient events, must be established, and preventive actions implemented.

(I) Success of actions implemented as a result of performance improvement activities must be measured, and ongoing performance must be tracked to ensure improvements are sustained.

(2) Responsibility and accountability. The hospital's governing body, medical staff and administrative staff are responsible and accountable for ensuring that:

(A) an ongoing program for quality improvement is defined, implemented and maintained, and that program requirements are met;

(B) an ongoing program for patient safety, including reduction of medical errors, is defined, implemented and maintained;

(C) the hospital-wide QAPI efforts address priorities for improved quality of care and patient safety, and that all improvement actions are evaluated; and

(D) adequate resources are allocated for measuring, assessing, improving and sustaining the hospital's resources, and for reducing risk to patients.

(3) Medically-related patient care services. The hospital shall have an ongoing plan, consistent with available community and hospital resources, to provide or make available social work, psychological, and educational services to meet the medically-related needs of its patients. The hospital also shall have an effective, ongoing discharge planning program that facilitates the provision of follow-up care.

(A) Discharge planning shall be completed prior to discharge.

(B) Patients, along with necessary medical information, shall be transferred or referred to appropriate facilities, agencies, or outpatient services, as needed for follow-up or ancillary care.

(C) Screening and evaluation before patient discharge from hospital. In accordance with 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 483, Subpart C (relating to Requirements for Long Term Care Facilities) and the rules of the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) set forth in 40 TAC Chapter 17 (relating to Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR)), all patients who are being considered for discharge from the hospital to a nursing facility shall be screened, and if appropriate, evaluated, prior to discharge by the hospital and admission to the nursing facility to determine whether the patient may have a mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability. If the screening indicates that the patient has a mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability, the hospital shall contact and arrange for the local mental health authority designated pursuant to Health and Safety Code, §533.035, to conduct prior to hospital discharge an evaluation of the patient in accordance with the applicable provisions of the PASRR rules. The purpose of PASRR is:

(i) to ensure that placement of the patient in a nursing facility is necessary;

(ii) to identify alternate placement options when applicable; and

(iii) to identify specialized services that may benefit the person with a diagnosis of mental illness, intellectual disability, or developmental disability.

(4) Implementation. The hospital must take actions aimed at performance improvement and, after implementing those actions, the hospital must measure its success, and track performance to ensure that improvements are sustained.

(s) Radiology services. The hospital shall maintain, or have available, diagnostic radiologic services according to needs of the patients. All radiology equipment, including X-ray equipment, mammography equipment and laser equipment, shall be licensed and registered as required under Chapter 289 of this title (relating to Radiation Control). If therapeutic services are also provided, the services, as well as the diagnostic services, shall meet professionally approved standards for safety and personnel qualifications as required in §§289.227, 289.229, 289.230 and 289.231 of this title (relating to Registration Regulations). In a special hospital, portable X-ray equipment may be acceptable as a minimum requirement.

(1) Policies and procedures. Policies and procedures shall be adopted, implemented and enforced which will describe the radiology services provided in the hospital and how employee and patient safety will be maintained.

(2) Safety for patients and personnel. The radiology services, particularly ionizing radiology procedures, shall minimize hazards to patients and personnel.

(A) Proper safety precautions shall be maintained against radiation hazards. This includes adequate radiation shielding, safety procedures and equipment maintenance and testing.

(B) Inspection of equipment shall be made by or under the supervision of a licensed medical physicist in accordance with §289.227(o) of this title (relating to Use of Radiation Machines in the Healing Arts). Defective equipment shall be promptly repaired or replaced.

(C) Radiation workers shall be provided personnel monitoring dosimeters to measure the amount of radiation exposure they receive. Exposure reports and documentation shall be available for review.

(D) Radiology services shall be provided only on the order of individuals granted privileges by the medical staff.

(3) Personnel.

(A) A qualified full-time, part-time, or consulting radiologist shall supervise the ionizing radiology services and shall interpret only those radiology tests that are determined by the medical staff to require a radiologist's specialized knowledge. For purposes of this section a radiologist is a physician who is qualified by education and experience in radiology in accordance with medical staff bylaws.

(B) Only personnel designated as qualified by the medical staff shall use the radiology equipment and administer procedures.

(4) Records. Records of radiology services shall be maintained. The radiologist or other individuals who have been granted privileges to perform radiology services shall sign reports of his or her interpretations.

(t) Renal dialysis services.

(1) Hospitals may provide inpatient dialysis services without an additional license under HSC Chapter 251. Hospitals providing outpatient dialysis services shall be licensed under HSC Chapter 251.

(2) Hospitals may provide outpatient dialysis services when the governor or the president of the United States declares a disaster in this state or another state. The hospital may provide outpatient dialysis only during the term of the disaster declaration.

(3) Equipment.

(A) Maintenance and repair. All equipment used by a facility, including backup equipment, shall be operated within manufacturer's specifications, and maintained free of defects which could be a potential hazard to patients, staff, or visitors. Maintenance and repair of all equipment shall be performed by qualified staff or contract personnel.

(i) Staff shall be able to identify malfunctioning equipment and report such equipment to the appropriate staff for immediate repair.

(ii) Medical equipment that malfunctions must be clearly labeled and immediately removed from service until the malfunction is identified and corrected.

(iii) Written evidence of all maintenance and repairs shall be maintained.

(iv) After repairs or alterations are made to any equipment or system, the equipment or system shall be thoroughly tested for proper operation before returning to service. This testing must be documented.

(v) A facility shall comply with the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 United States Code (USC), §360i(b), concerning reporting when a medical device as defined in 21 USC §321(h) has or may have caused or contributed to the injury or death of a patient of the facility.

(B) Preventive maintenance. A facility shall develop, implement and enforce a written preventive maintenance program to ensure patient care related equipment used in a facility receives electrical safety inspections, if appropriate, and maintenance at least annually or more frequently as recommended by the manufacturer. The preventive maintenance may be provided by facility staff or by contract.

(C) Backup machine. At least one complete dialysis machine shall be available on site as backup for every ten dialysis machines in use. At least one of these backup machines must be completely operational during hours of treatment. Machines not in use during a patient shift may be counted as backup except at the time of an initial or an expansion survey.

(D) Pediatric patients. If pediatric patients are treated, a facility shall use equipment and supplies, to include blood pressure cuffs, dialyzers, and blood tubing, appropriate for this special population.

(E) Emergency equipment and supplies. A facility shall have emergency equipment and supplies immediately accessible in the treatment area.

(i) At a minimum, the emergency equipment and supplies shall include the following:

(I) oxygen;

(II) mechanical ventilatory assistance equipment, to include airways, manual breathing bag, and mask;

(III) suction equipment;

(IV) supplies specified by the medical director;

(V) electrocardiograph; and

(VI) automated external defibrillator or defibrillator.

(ii) If pediatric patients are treated, the facility shall have the appropriate type and size emergency equipment and supplies listed in clause (i) of this subparagraph for this special population.

(iii) A facility shall establish, implement, and enforce a policy for the periodic testing and maintenance of the emergency equipment. Staff shall properly maintain and test the emergency equipment and supplies and document the testing and maintenance.

(F) Transducer protector. A transducer protector shall be replaced when wetted during a dialysis treatment and shall be used for one treatment only.

(4) Water treatment and dialysate concentrates.

(A) Compliance required. A facility shall meet the requirements of this section. A facility may follow more stringent requirements than the minimum standards required by this section.

(i) The facility administrator and medical director shall each demonstrate responsibility for the water treatment and dialysate supply systems to protect hemodialysis patients from adverse effects arising from known chemical and microbial contaminates that may be found in improperly prepared dialysate, to ensure that the dialysate is correctly formulated and meets the requirements of all applicable quality standards.

(ii) The facility administrator and medical director must assure that policies and procedures related to water treatment and dialysate are understandable and accessible to the operator(s) and that the training program includes quality testing, risks and hazards of improperly prepared concentrate and bacterial issues.

(iii) The facility administrator and medical director must be informed prior to any alteration of, or any device being added to, the water system.

(B) Water treatment. These requirements apply to water intended for use in the delivery of hemodialysis, including the preparation of concentrates from powder at a dialysis facility and dialysate.

(i) The design for the water treatment system in a facility shall be based on considerations of the source water for the facility and designed by a water quality professional with education, training, or experience in dialysis system design.

(ii) When a public water system supply is not used by a facility, the source water shall be tested by the facility at monthly intervals in the same manner as a public water system as described in 30 TAC §290.104 (relating to Summary of Maximum Contaminant Levels, Maximum Residual Disinfectant Levels, Treatment Techniques, and Action Levels), and §290.109 (relating to Microbial Contaminants) as adopted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

(iii) The physical space in which the water treatment system is located must be adequate to allow for maintenance, testing, and repair of equipment. If mixing of dialysate is performed in the same area, the physical space must also be adequate to house and allow for the maintenance, testing, and repair of the mixing equipment and for performing the mixing procedure.

(iv) The water treatment system components shall be arranged and maintained so that bacterial and chemical contaminant levels in the product water do not exceed the standards for hemodialysis water quality described in §4.2.1 (concerning Water Bacteriology) and §4.2.2 (concerning Maximum Level of Chemical Contaminants) of the American National Standard, Water Treatment Equipment for Hemodialysis Applications, August 2001 Edition, published by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). All documents published by the AAMI as referenced in this section may be obtained by writing the following address: 1110 North Glebe Road, Suite 220, Arlington, Virginia 22201.

(v) Written policies and procedures for the operation of the water treatment system must be developed and implemented. Parameters for the operation of each component of the water treatment system must be developed in writing and known to the operator. Each major water system component shall be labeled in a manner that identifies the device; describes its function, how performance is verified and actions to take in the event performance is not within an acceptable range.

(vi) The materials of any components of water treatment systems (including piping, storage, filters and distribution systems) that contact the purified water shall not interact chemically or physically so as to affect the purity or quality of the product water adversely. Such components shall be fabricated from unreactive materials (e.g. plastics) or appropriate stainless steel. The use of materials that are known to cause toxicity in hemodialysis, such as copper, brass, galvanized material, or aluminum, is prohibited.

(vii) Chemicals infused into the water such as iodine, acid, flocculants, and complexing agents shall be shown to be nondialyzable or shall be adequately removed from product water. Monitors or specific test procedures to verify removal of additives shall be provided and documented.

(viii) Each water treatment system shall include reverse osmosis membranes or deionization tanks and a minimum of two carbon tanks in series. If the source water is from a private supply which does not use chlorine/chloramine, the water treatment system shall include reverse osmosis membranes or deionization tanks and a minimum of one carbon tank.

(I) Reverse osmosis membranes. Reverse osmosis membranes, if used, shall meet the standards in §4.3.7 (concerning Reverse Osmosis) of the American National Standard, Water Treatment Equipment for Hemodialysis Applications, August 2001 Edition, published by the AAMI.

(II) Deionization systems.

(-a-) Deionization systems, if used, shall be monitored continuously to produce water of one megohm-centimeter (cm) or greater specific resistivity (or conductivity of one microsiemen/cm or less) at 25 degrees Celsius. An audible and visual alarm shall be activated when the product water resistivity falls below this level and the product water stream shall be prevented from reaching any point of use.

(-b-) Patients shall not be dialyzed on deionized water with a resistivity less than 1.0 megohm-cm measured at the output of the deionizer.

(-c-) A minimum of two deionization (DI) tanks in series shall be used with resistivity monitors including audible and visual alarms placed pre and post the final DI tank in the system. The alarms must be audible in the patient care area.

(-d-) Feed water for deionization systems shall be pretreated with activated carbon adsorption, or a comparable alternative, to prevent nitrosamine formation.

(-e-) If a deionization system is the last process in a water treatment system, it shall be followed by an ultrafilter or other bacteria and endotoxin reducing device.

(III) Carbon tanks.

(-a-) The carbon tanks must contain acid washed carbon, 30-mesh or smaller with a minimum iodine number of 900.

(-b-) A minimum of two carbon adsorption beds shall be installed in a series configuration.

(-c-) The total empty bed contact time (EBCT) shall be at least ten minutes, with the final tank providing at least five minutes EBCT. Carbon adsorption systems used to prepare water for portable dialysis systems are exempt from the requirement for the second carbon and a ten minute EBCT if removal of chloramines to below 0.1 milligram (mg)/1 is verified before each treatment.

(-d-) A means shall be provided to sample the product water immediately prior to the final bed(s). Water from this port(s) must be tested for chlorine/chloramine levels immediately prior to each patient shift.

(-e-) All samples for chlorine/chloramine testing must be drawn when the water treatment system has been operating for at least 15 minutes.

(-f-) Tests for total chlorine, which include both free and combined forms of chlorine, may be used as a single analysis with the maximum allowable concentration of 0.1 mg/liter (L). Test results of greater than 0.5 parts per million (ppm) for chlorine or 0.1 ppm for chloramine from the port between the initial tank(s) and final tank(s) shall require testing to be performed at the final exit and replacement of the initial tank(s).

(-g-) In a system without a holding tank, if test results at the exit of the final tank(s) are greater than the parameters for chlorine or chloramine described in this subclause, dialysis treatment shall be immediately terminated to protect patients from exposure to chlorine/chloramine and the medical director shall be notified. In systems with holding tanks, if the holding tank tests <1 mg/L for total chlorine, the reverse osmosis (RO) may be turned off and the product water in the holding tank may be used to finish treatments in process. The medical director shall be notified.

(-h-) If means other than granulated carbon are used to remove chlorine/chloramine, the facility's governing body must approve such use in writing after review of the safety of the intended method for use in hemodialysis applications. If such methods include the use of additives, there must be evidence the product water does not contain unsafe levels of these additives.

(ix) Water softeners, if used, shall be tested at the end of the treatment day to verify their capacity to treat a sufficient volume of water to supply the facility for the entire treatment day and shall be fitted with a mechanism to prevent water containing the high concentrations of sodium chloride used during regeneration from entering the product water line during regeneration.

(x) If used, the face(s) of timer(s) used to control any component of the water treatment or dialysate delivery system shall be visible to the operator at all times. Written evidence that timers are checked for operation and accuracy each day of operation must be maintained.

(xi) Filter housings, if used during disinfectant procedures, shall include a means to clear the lower portion of the housing of the disinfecting agents. Filter housings shall be opaque.

(xii) Ultrafilters, or other bacterial reducing filters, if used, shall be fitted with pressure gauges on the inlet and outlet water lines to monitor the pressure drop across the membrane. Ultrafilters shall be included in routine disinfection procedures.

(xiii) If used, storage tanks shall have a conical or bowl shaped base and shall drain from the lowest point of the base. Storage tanks shall have a tight-fitting lid and be vented through a hydrophobic 0.2 micron air filter. Means shall be provided to effectively disinfect any storage tank installed in a water distribution system.

(xiv) Ultraviolet (UV) lights, if used, shall be monitored at the frequency recommended by the manufacturer. A log sheet shall be used to record monitoring.

(xv) Water treatment system piping shall be labeled to indicate the contents of the pipe and direction of flow.

(xvi) The water treatment system must be continuously monitored during patient treatment and be guarded by audible and visual alarms which can be seen and heard in the dialysis treatment area should water quality drop below specific parameters. Quality monitor sensing cells shall be located as the last component of the water treatment system and at the beginning of the distribution system. No water treatment components that could affect the quality of the product water as measured by this device shall be located after the sensing cell.

(xvii) When deionization tanks do not follow a reverse osmosis system, parameters for the rejection rate of the membranes must assure that the lowest rate accepted would provide product water in compliance with §4.2.2 (concerning Maximum Level of Chemical Contaminants) of the American National Standard, Water Treatment Equipment for Hemodialysis Applications, August 2001 Edition published by the AAMI.

(xviii) A facility shall maintain written logs of the operation of the water treatment system for each treatment day. The log book shall include each component's operating parameter and the action taken when a component is not within the facility's set parameters.

(xix) Microbiological testing of product water shall be conducted.

(I) Frequency. Microbiological testing shall be conducted monthly and following any repair or change to the water treatment system. For a newly installed water distribution system, or when a change has been made to an existing system, weekly testing shall be conducted for one month to verify that bacteria and endotoxin levels are consistently within the allowed limits.

(II) Sample sites. At a minimum, sample sites chosen for the testing shall include the beginning of the distribution piping, at any site of dialysate mixing, and the end of the distribution piping.

(III) Technique. Samples shall be collected immediately before sanitization/disinfection of the water treatment system and dialysis machines. Water testing results shall be routinely trended and reviewed by the medical director in order to determine if results seem questionable or if there is an opportunity for improvement. The medical director shall determine if there is a need for retesting. Repeated results of "no growth" shall be validated via an outside laboratory. A calibrated loop may not be used in microbiological testing of water samples. Colonies shall be counted using a magnifying device.

(IV) Expected results. Product water used to prepare dialysate, concentrates from powder, or to reprocess dialyzers for multiple use, shall contain a total viable microbial count less than 200 colony forming units (CFU)/millimeter (ml) and an endotoxin concentration less than 2 endotoxin units (EU)/ml. The action level for the total viable microbial count in the product water shall be 50 CFU/ml and the action level for the endotoxin concentration shall be 1 EU/ml.

(V) Required action for unacceptable results. If the action levels described at subclause (IV) of this clause are observed in the product water, corrective measures shall be taken promptly to reduce the levels into an acceptable range.

(VI) Records. All bacteria and endotoxin results shall be recorded on a log sheet in order to identify trends that may indicate the need for corrective action.

(xx) If ozone generators are used to disinfect any portion of the water or dialysate delivery system, testing based on the manufacturer's direction shall be used to measure the ozone concentration each time disinfection is performed, to include testing for safe levels of residual ozone at the end of the disinfection cycle. Testing for ozone in the ambient air shall be conducted on a periodic basis as recommended by the manufacturer. Records of all testing must be maintained in a log.

(xxi) If used, hot water disinfection systems shall be monitored for temperature and time of exposure to hot water as specified by the manufacturer. Temperature of the water shall be recorded at a point furthest from the water heater, where the lowest water temperature is likely to occur. The water temperature shall be measured each time a disinfection cycle is performed. A record that verifies successful completion of the heat disinfection shall be maintained.

(xxii) After chemical disinfection, means shall be provided to restore the equipment and the system in which it is installed to a safe condition relative to residual disinfectant prior to the product water being used for dialysis applications.

(xxiii) Samples of product water must be submitted for chemical analysis every six months and must demonstrate that the quality of the product water used to prepare dialysate or concentrates from powder, meets §4.2.2 (concerning Maximum Level of Chemical Contaminants) of the American National Standard, Water Treatment Equipment for Hemodialysis Applications, August 2001 Edition, published by the AAMI.

(I) Samples for chemical analysis shall be collected at the end of the water treatment components and at the most distal point in each water distribution loop, if applicable. All other outlets from the distribution loops shall be inspected to ensure that the outlets are fabricated from compatible materials. Appropriate containers and pH adjustments shall be used to ensure accurate determinations. New facilities or facilities that add or change the configuration of the water distribution system must draw samples at the most distal point for each water distribution loop, if applicable, on a one time basis.

(II) Additional chemical analysis shall be submitted if substantial changes are made to the water treatment system or if the percent rejection of a reverse osmosis system decreased 5.0% or more from the percent rejection measured at the time the water sample for the preceding chemical analysis was taken.

(xxiv) Facility records must include all test results and evidence that the medical director has reviewed the results of the water quality testing and directed corrective action when indicated.

(xxv) Only persons qualified by the education or experience may operate, repair, or replace components of the water treatment system.

(C) Dialysate.

(i) Quality control procedures shall be established to ensure ongoing conformance to policies and procedures regarding dialysate quality.

(ii) Each facility shall set all hemodialysis machines to use only one family of concentrates. When new machines are put into service or the concentrate family or concentrate manufacturer is changed, samples shall be sent to a laboratory for verification.

(iii) Prior to each patient treatment, staff shall verify the dialysate conductivity and pH of each machine with an independent device.

(iv) Bacteriological testing shall be conducted.

(I) Frequency. Responsible facility staff shall develop a schedule to ensure each hemodialysis machine is tested quarterly for bacterial growth and the presence of endotoxins. Hemodialysis machines of home patients shall be cultured monthly until results not exceeding 200 CFU/ml are obtained for three consecutive months, then quarterly samples shall be cultured.

(II) Acceptable limits. Dialysate shall contain less than 200 CFU/ml and an endotoxin concentration of less than 2 EU/ml. The action level for total viable microbial count shall be 50 CFU/ml and the action level for endotoxin concentration shall be 1 EU/ml.

(III) Action to be taken. Disinfection and retesting shall be done when bacterial or endotoxin counts exceed the action levels. Additional samples shall be collected when there is a clinical indication of a pyrogenic reaction and/or septicemia.

(v) Only a licensed nurse may use an additive to increase concentrations of specific electrolytes in the acid concentrate. Mixing procedures shall be followed as specified by the additive manufacturer. When additives are prescribed for a specific patient, the container holding the prescribed acid concentrate shall be labeled with the name of the patient, the final concentration of the added electrolyte, the date the prescribed concentrate was made, and the name of the person who mixed the additive.

(vi) All components used in concentrate preparation systems (including mixing and storage tanks, pumps, valves and piping) shall be fabricated from materials (e.g., plastics or appropriate stainless steel) that do not interact chemically or physically with the concentrate so as to affect its purity, or with the germicides used to disinfect the equipment. The use of materials that are known to cause toxicity in hemodialysis such as copper, brass, galvanized material and aluminum is prohibited.

(vii) Facility policies shall address means to protect stored acid concentrates from tampering or from degeneration due to exposure to extreme heat or cold.

(viii) Procedures to control the transfer of acid concentrates from the delivery container to the storage tank and prevent the inadvertent mixing of different concentrate formulations shall be developed, implemented and enforced. The storage tanks shall be clearly labeled.

(ix) Concentrate mixing systems shall include a purified water source, a suitable drain, and a ground fault protected electrical outlet.

(I) Operators of mixing systems shall use personal protective equipment as specified by the manufacturer during all mixing processes.

(II) The manufacturer's instructions for use of a concentrate mixing system shall be followed, including instructions for mixing the powder with the correct amount of water. The number of bags or weight of powder added shall be determined and recorded.

(III) The mixing tank shall be clearly labeled to indicate the fill and final volumes required to correctly dilute the powder.

(IV) Systems for preparing either bicarbonate or acid concentrate from powder shall be monitored according to the manufacturer's instructions.

(V) Concentrates shall not be used, or transferred to holding tanks or distribution systems, until all tests are completed.

(VI) If a facility designs its own system for mixing concentrates, procedures shall be developed and validated using an independent laboratory to ensure proper mixing.

(x) Acid concentrate mixing tanks shall be designed to allow the inside of the tank to be rinsed when changing concentrate formulas.

(I) Acid mixing systems shall be designed and maintained to prevent rust and corrosion.

(II) Acid concentrate mixing tanks shall be emptied completely and rinsed with product water before mixing another batch of concentrate to prevent cross contamination between different batches.

(III) Acid concentrate mixing equipment shall be disinfected as specified by the equipment manufacturer or in the case where no specifications are given, as defined by facility policy.

(IV) Records of disinfection and rinsing of disinfectants to safe residual levels shall be maintained.

(xi) Bicarbonate concentrate mixing tanks shall have conical or bowl shaped bottoms and shall drain from the lowest point of the base. The tank design shall allow all internal surfaces to be disinfected and rinsed.

(I) Bicarbonate concentrate mixing tanks shall not be prefilled the night before use.

(II) If disinfectant remains in the mixing tank overnight, this solution must be completely drained, the tank rinsed and tested for residual disinfectant prior to preparing the first batch of that day of bicarbonate concentrate.

(III) Unused portions of bicarbonate concentrate shall not be mixed with fresh concentrate.

(IV) At a minimum, bicarbonate distribution systems shall be disinfected weekly. More frequent disinfection shall be done if required by the manufacturer, or if dialysate culture results are above the action level.

(V) If jugs are reused to deliver bicarbonate concentrate to individual hemodialysis machines:

(-a-) jugs shall be emptied of concentrate, rinsed and inverted to drain at the end of each treatment day;

(-b-) at a minimum, jugs shall be disinfected weekly, more frequent disinfection shall be considered by the medical director if dialysate culture results are above the action level; and

(-c-) following disinfection, jugs shall be drained, rinsed free of residual disinfectant, and inverted to dry. Testing for residual disinfectant shall be done and documented.

(xii) All mixing tanks, bulk storage tanks, dispensing tanks and containers for single hemodialysis treatments shall be labeled as to the contents.

(I) Mixing tanks. Prior to batch preparation, a label shall be affixed to the mixing tank that includes the date of preparation and the chemical composition or formulation of the concentrate being prepared. This labeling shall remain on the mixing tank until the tank has been emptied.

(II) Bulk storage/dispensing tanks. These tanks shall be permanently labeled to identify the chemical composition or formulation of their contents.

(III) Single machine containers. At a minimum, single machine containers shall be labeled with sufficient information to differentiate the contents from other concentrate formulations used in the facility and permit positive identification by users of container contents.

(xiii) Permanent records of batches produced shall be maintained to include the concentrate formula produced, the volume of the batch, lot number(s) of powdered concentrate packages, the manufacturer of the powdered concentrate, date and time of mixing, test results, person performing mixing, and expiration date (if applicable).

(xiv) If dialysate concentrates are prepared in the facility, the manufacturers' recommendations shall be followed regarding any preventive maintenance. Records shall be maintained indicating the date, time, person performing the procedure, and the results (if applicable).

(5) Prevention requirements concerning patients.

(A) Hepatitis B vaccination.

(i) With the advice and consent of a patient's attending nephrologist, facility staff shall make the hepatitis B vaccine available to a patient who is susceptible to hepatitis B, provided that the patient has coverage or is willing to pay for vaccination.

(ii) The facility shall make available to patients literature describing the risks and benefits of the hepatitis B vaccination.

(B) Serologic screening of patients.

(i) A patient new to dialysis shall have been screened for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) within one month before or at the time of admission to the facility or have a known hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) status of at least 10 milli-international units per milliliter no more than 12 months prior to admission. The facility shall document how this screening requirement is met.

(ii) Repeated serologic screening shall be based on the antigen or antibody status of the patient.

(I) Monthly screening for HBsAg is required for patients whose previous test results are negative for HBsAg.

(II) Screening of HBsAg-positive or anti-HBs-positive patients may be performed on a less frequent basis, provided that the facility's policy on this subject remains congruent with Appendices i and ii of the National Surveillance of Dialysis Associated Disease in the United States, 2000, published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

(C) Isolation procedures for the HBsAg-positive patient.

(i) The facility shall treat patients positive for HBsAg in a segregated treatment area which includes a hand washing sink, a work area, patient care supplies and equipment, and sufficient space to prevent cross-contamination to other patients.

(ii) A patient who tests positive for HBsAg shall be dialyzed on equipment reserved and maintained for the HBsAg-positive patient's use only.

(iii) When a caregiver is assigned to both HBsAg-negative and HBsAg-positive patients, the HBsAg-negative patients assigned to this grouping must be Hepatitis B antibody positive. Hepatitis B antibody positive patients are to be seated at the treatment stations nearest the isolation station and be assigned to the same staff member who is caring for the HBsAg-positive patient.

(iv) If an HBsAg-positive patient is discharged, the equipment which had been reserved for that patient shall be given intermediate level disinfection prior to use for a patient testing negative for HBsAg.

(v) In the case of patients new to dialysis, if these patients are admitted for treatment before results of HBsAg or anti-HBs testing are known, these patients shall undergo treatment as if the HBsAg test results were potentially positive, except that they shall not be treated in the HBsAg isolation room, area, or machine.

(I) The facility shall treat potentially HBsAg-positive patients in a location in the treatment area which is outside of traffic patterns until the HBsAg test results are known.

(II) The dialysis machine used by this patient shall be given intermediate level disinfection prior to its use by another patient.

(III) The facility shall obtain HBsAg status results of the patient no later than three days from admission.

(u) Respiratory care services. The hospital shall meet the needs of the patients in accordance with acceptable standards of practice.

(1) Policies and procedures shall be adopted, implemented, and enforced which describe the provision of respiratory care services in the hospital.

(2) The organization of the respiratory care services shall be appropriate to the scope and complexity of the services offered.

(3) There shall be a medical director or clinical director of respiratory care services who is a physician with the knowledge, experience, and capabilities to supervise and administer the services properly. The medical director or clinical director may serve on either a full-time or part-time basis.

(4) There shall be adequate numbers of respiratory therapists, respiratory therapy technicians, and other personnel who meet the qualifications specified by the medical staff, consistent with the state law.

(5) Personnel qualified to perform specific procedures and the amount of supervision required for personnel to carry out specific procedures shall be designated in writing.

(6) If blood gases or other clinical laboratory tests are performed by the respiratory care services staff, the respiratory care staff shall comply with CLIA 1988 in accordance with the requirements specified in 42 CFR, Part 493.

(7) Services shall be provided only on, and in accordance with, the orders of a physician.

(v) Sterilization and sterile supplies.

(1) Supervision. The sterilization of all supplies and equipment shall be under the supervision of a person qualified by education, training and experience. Staff responsible for the sterilization of supplies and equipment shall participate in a documented continuing education program; new employees shall receive initial orientation and on-the-job training.

(2) Equipment and procedures.

(A) Sterilization. Every hospital shall provide equipment adequate for sterilization of supplies and equipment as needed. Equipment shall be maintained and operated to perform, with accuracy, the sterilization of the various materials required.

(B) Written policy. Written policies and procedures for the decontamination and sterilization activities performed shall be adopted, implemented and enforced. Policies shall include the receiving, cleaning, decontaminating, disinfecting, preparing and sterilization of reusable items, as well as those for the assembly, wrapping, storage, distribution and quality control of sterile items and equipment. These written policies shall be reviewed at least every other year and approved by the infection control practitioner or committee.

(C) Separation. Where cleaning, preparation, and sterilization functions are performed in the same room or unit, the physical facilities, equipment, and the policies and procedures for their use, shall be such as to effectively separate soiled or contaminated supplies and equipment from the clean or sterilized supplies and equipment. Hand washing facilities shall be provided and a separate sink shall be provided for safe disposal of liquid waste.

(D) Labeling. All containers for solutions, drugs, flammable solvents, ether, alcohol, and medicated supplies shall be clearly labeled to indicate contents. Those which are sterilized by the hospital shall be labeled so as to be identifiable both before and after sterilization. Sterilized items shall have a load control identification that indicates the sterilizer used, the cycle or load number, and the date of sterilization.

(E) Preparation for sterilization.

(i) All items to be sterilized shall be prepared to reduce the bioburden. All items shall be thoroughly cleaned, decontaminated and prepared in a clean, controlled environment.

(ii) All articles to be sterilized shall be arranged so all surfaces will be directly exposed to the sterilizing agent for the prescribed time and temperature.

(F) Packaging. All wrapped articles to be sterilized shall be packaged in materials recommended for the specific type of sterilizer and material to be sterilized.

(G) External chemical indicators.

(i) External chemical indicators, also known as sterilization process indicators, shall be used on each package to be sterilized, including items being flash sterilized to indicate that items have been exposed to the sterilization process.

(ii) The indicator results shall be interpreted according to manufacturer's written instructions and indicator reaction specifications.

(iii) A log shall be maintained with the load identification, indicator results, and identification of the contents of the load.

(H) Biological indicators. Biological indicators are commercially-available microorganisms (e.g., United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved strips or vials of Bacillus species endospores) which can be used to verify the performance of waste treatment equipment and processes (or sterilization equipment and processes).

(i) The efficacy of the sterilizing process shall be monitored with reliable biological indicators appropriate for the type of sterilizer used.

(ii) Biological indicators shall be included in at least one run each week of use for steam sterilizers, at least one run each day of use for low-temperature hydrogen peroxide gas sterilizers, and every load for ethylene oxide (EO) sterilizers.

(iii) Biological indicators shall be included in every load that contains implantable objects.

(iv) A log shall be maintained with the load identification, biological indicator results, and identification of the contents of the load.

(v) If a test is positive, the sterilizer shall immediately be taken out of service.

(I) Implantable items shall be recalled and reprocessed if a biological indicator test (spore test) is positive.

(II) All available items shall be recalled and reprocessed if a sterilizer malfunction is found and a list of those items not retrieved in the recall shall be submitted to infection control.

(III) A malfunctioning sterilizer shall not be put back into use until it has been serviced and successfully tested according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

(I) Sterilizers.

(i) Steam sterilizers (saturated steam under pressure) shall be utilized for sterilization of heat and moisture stable items. Steam sterilizers shall be used according to manufacturer's written instructions.

(ii) EO sterilizers shall be used for processing heat and moisture sensitive items. EO sterilizers and aerators shall be used and vented according to the manufacturer's written instructions.

(iii) Flash sterilizers shall be used for emergency sterilization of clean, unwrapped instruments and porous items only.

(J) Disinfection.

(i) Written policies, approved by the infection control committee, shall be adopted, implemented and enforced for the use of chemical disinfectants.

(ii) The manufacturer's written instructions for the use of disinfectants shall be followed.

(iii) An expiration date, determined according to manufacturer's written recommendations, shall be marked on the container of disinfection solution currently in use.

(iv) Disinfectant solutions shall be kept covered and used in well-ventilated areas.

(v) Chemical germicides that are registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency as "sterilants" may be used either for sterilization or high-level disinfection.

(vi) All staff personnel using chemical disinfectants shall have received training on their use.

(K) Performance records.

(i) Performance records for all sterilizers shall be maintained for each cycle. These records shall be retained and available for review for a minimum of five years.

(ii) Each sterilizer shall be monitored continuously during operation for pressure, temperature, and time at desired temperature and pressure. A record shall be maintained and shall include:

(I) the sterilizer identification;

(II) sterilization date;

(III) cycle number;

(IV) contents of each load;

(V) duration and temperature of exposure phase (if not provided on sterilizer recording charts);

(VI) identification of operator(s);

(VII) results of biological tests and dates performed;

(VIII) time-temperature recording charts from each sterilizer;

(IX) gas concentration and relative humidity (if applicable); and

(X) any other test results.

(L) Storage of sterilized items.

(i) Sterilized items shall be transported so as to maintain cleanliness and sterility and to prevent physical damage.

(ii) Sterilized items shall be stored in well-ventilated, limited access areas with controlled temperature and humidity.

(iii) The hospital shall adopt, implement and enforce a policy which describes the mechanism used to determine the shelf life of sterilized packages.

(M) Preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance of all sterilizers shall be performed according to individual adopted, implemented and enforced policy on a scheduled basis by qualified personnel, using the sterilizer manufacturer's service manual as a reference. A preventive maintenance record shall be maintained for each sterilizer. These records shall be retained at least two years and shall be available for review.

(w) Surgical services. If a hospital provides surgical services, the services shall be well-organized and provided in accordance with acceptable standards of practice. If outpatient surgical services are offered, the services shall be consistent in quality with inpatient care in accordance with the complexity of services offered. A special hospital may not offer surgical services.

(1) Organization and staffing. The organization of the surgical services shall be appropriate for the scope of the services offered.

(A) The operating rooms shall be supervised by an experienced RN or physician.

(B) Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) and surgical technologists (operating room technicians) may serve as scrub nurses or technologists under the supervision of an RN.

(C) Circulating duties in the operating room must be performed by qualified RNs. In accordance with approved medical staff polices and procedures, LVNs and surgical technologists may assist in circulatory duties under the direct supervision of a qualified RN circulator.

(D) Surgical privileges shall be delineated for all physicians, podiatrists, and dentists performing surgery in accordance with the competencies of each. The surgical services shall maintain a roster specifying the surgical privileges of each.

(E) If the facility employs surgical technologists, the facility shall adopt, implement, and enforce policies and procedures to comply with Health and Safety Code, Chapter 259 (relating to Surgical Technologists at Health Care Facilities).

(2) Delivery of service. Surgical services shall be consistent with needs and resources. Written policies governing surgical care which are designed to ensure the achievement and maintenance of high standards of medical practice and patient care shall be adopted, implemented and enforced.

(A) There shall be a complete medical history and physical examination, as required under subsection (k)(3)(F) of this section, in the medical record of every patient prior to surgery, except in emergencies. If this has been dictated, but not yet recorded in the patient's medical record, there shall be a statement to that effect and an admission note in the record by the individual who admitted the patient.

(B) A properly executed informed consent form for the operation shall be in the patient's medical record before surgery, except in emergencies.

(C) The following equipment shall be available in the operating room suites:

(i) communication system;

(ii) cardiac monitor;

(iii) resuscitator;

(iv) defibrillator;

(v) aspirator; and

(vi) tracheotomy set.

(D) There shall be adequate provisions for immediate postoperative care.

(E) The operating room register shall be complete and up-to-date. The register shall contain, but not be limited to, the following:

(i) patient's name and hospital identification number;

(ii) date of operation;

(iii) operation performed;

(iv) operating surgeon and assistant(s);

(v) type of anesthesia used and name of person administering it;

(vi) time operation began and ended;

(vii) time anesthesia began and ended;

(viii) disposition of specimens;

(ix) names of scrub and circulating personnel;

(x) unusual occurrences; and

(xi) disposition of the patient.

(F) An operative report describing techniques, findings, and tissue removed or altered shall be written or dictated immediately following surgery and signed by the surgeon.

(x) Therapy services. If the hospital provides physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology, or speech pathology services, the services shall be organized and staffed to ensure the health and safety of patients.

(1) Organization and staffing. The organization of the services shall be appropriate to the scope of the services offered.

(A) The director of the services shall have the necessary knowledge, experience, and capabilities to properly supervise and administer the services.

(B) Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, or audiology services, if provided, shall be provided by staff who meet the qualifications specified by the medical staff, consistent with state law.

(2) Delivery of services. Services shall be furnished in accordance with a written plan of treatment. Services to be provided shall be consistent with applicable state laws and regulations, and in accordance with orders of the physician, podiatrist, dentist or other licensed practitioner who is authorized by the medical staff to order the services. Therapy orders shall be incorporated in the patient's medical record.

(y) Waste and waste disposal.

(1) Special waste and liquid/sewage waste management.

(A) The hospital shall comply with the requirements set forth by the department in §§1.131 - 1.137 of this title (relating to Definition, Treatment, and Disposition of Special Waste from Health Care-Related Facilities) and the TCEQ requirements in 30 TAC Chapter 326, Medical Waste Management, §326.17, §326.19, §326.21, and §326.23 (relating to Packaging, Labeling and Shipping Requirements) and §326.31 (relating to Exempt Medical Waste Operations).

(B) All sewage and liquid wastes shall be disposed of in a municipal sewerage system or a septic tank system permitted by the TCEQ in accordance with 30 TAC Chapter 285 (relating to On-Site Sewage Facilities).

(2) Waste receptacles.

(A) Waste receptacles shall be conveniently available in all toilet rooms, patient areas, staff work areas, and waiting rooms. Receptacles shall be routinely emptied of their contents at a central location(s) into closed containers.

(B) Waste receptacles shall be properly cleaned with soap and hot water, followed by treatment of inside surfaces of the receptacles with a germicidal agent.

(C) All containers for other municipal solid waste shall be leak-resistant, have tight-fitting covers, and be rodent-proof.

(D) Nonreusable containers shall be of suitable strength to minimize animal scavenging or rupture during collection operations.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on January 13, 2020.

TRD-202000117

Karen Ray

Chief Counsel

Department of State Health Services

Effective date: February 2, 2020

Proposal publication date: September 13, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 834-4591


CHAPTER 135. AMBULATORY SURGICAL CENTERS

SUBCHAPTER A. OPERATING REQUIREMENTS FOR AMBULATORY SURGICAL CENTERS

25 TAC §135.15

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) adopts an amendment to §135.15, concerning Facility Staffing and Training. The amendment is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the September 13, 2019 issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 4944), and therefore will not be republished.

BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION

The purpose of this amendment is to update the requirements for establishing a nursing peer review committee. The amendment to §135.15 is necessary to comply with House Bill (H.B.) 3296, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which amended the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 303, related to nursing peer review committees.

COMMENTS

The 31-day comment period ended on October 14, 2019.

During this period, HHSC did not receive any comments regarding the proposed rule.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendment is authorized by Texas Government Code §531.0055, which provides that the Executive Commissioner of HHSC shall adopt rules for the operation and provision of services by the health and human services agencies, and the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 303.

The amendment implements Texas Government Code §531.0055 and Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 303.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on January 6, 2020.

TRD-202000035

Karen Ray

Chief Counsel

Department of State Health Services

Effective date: January 26, 2020

Proposal publication date: September 13, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 834-4591


CHAPTER 451. PEER ASSISTANCE

25 TAC §§451.101 - 451.112

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) adopts the repeal of Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 451, Peer Assistance, in its entirety, including §451.101, concerning Authority; §451.102, concerning Program Purpose; §451.103, concerning Applicability; §451.104, concerning Relationship to Licensing/Disciplinary Authority; §451.105, concerning Program Requirements; §451.106, concerning Definitions; §451.107, concerning Organization; §451.108, concerning Staffing; §451.109, concerning Program Description; §451.110, concerning Policies and Procedures; §451.111, concerning Referrals to Assessment/Treatment Resources; and §451.112, concerning Certification. The repeal was proposed in the October 18, 2019, issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 5998). These rules will not be republished.

BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION

The purpose is to repeal 40 TAC Chapter 451, Peer Assistance, in its entirety. New rules in 26 TAC Chapter 8, Peer Assistance for Impaired Professionals, are adopted elsewhere in this issue of the Texas Register and are substantially similar to the rules being repealed.

COMMENTS

The 31-day comment period ended November 18, 2019. During this period, HHSC did not receive any comments regarding the proposed repeals.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The repeals are adopted under Texas Government Code §531.0055, which provides that the Executive Commissioner of HHSC shall adopt rules for the operation and provision of services by the health and human services agencies.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on January 7, 2020.

TRD-202000043

Karen Ray

Chief Counsel

Department of State Health Services

Effective date: January 27, 2020

Proposal publication date: October 18, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 487-3419