Things you might like to know about surveys...


  • Specializes in psych, ambulatory care, ER. Has 10 years experience.

I'd like to share a little bit of info from "the other side of the fence", if I may. I hope that some of it will be helpful to you if and when you hear that surveyors are in your facility.

The second you hear that surveyors are on-site, there are simple and easy things that you can do that will streamline the process (and possibly earn your facility less citations).

If your medication room is supposed to be locked, please lock it. Same thing with your medication cart(s). If I can walk right into your unsecured medication room, I have no choice but to cite for it. Once I'm in the room, I'm looking for unsecured meds out on the counter, controls mixed in with regular meds, and pill residue on surfaces. Please remove your Lean Cuisine and Diet Coke from its place next to the insulin vials in the refrigerator. I'm going to check that someone has been documenting patient med/food refrigerator temps daily (every facility has a policy on this) and that you're following your facility's policy on dating, initialing and tossing insulin when the vial is first accessed.

I do indeed look for stained ceiling tiles, as a water leak poses an infection risk. I know it seems petty to a lot of people, but I don't want to breathe in mold dust every day and neither do you or your patients.

Please make sure your crash carts and related life-saving machinery are checked according to policy. Please make sure your crash carts are locked (and the little plastic lock is fine). If I walk up to an unattended crash cart and start opening drawers without having to break a lock to do so, I have no choice but to cite it.

Please check and make sure your stock meds are not expired, and that there is not an employee lunch (yes, it actually happened) somewhere in the medication cart. I have actually found a moldy peanut butter and jelly sandwich complete with a moldy apple in the control drawer.

The less errors found, the easier it is on everyone. If you know a surveyor is in the building, do a few checks before I come to your unit.


mamamerlee, LPN

949 Posts

Specializes in home health, dialysis, others. Has 35 years experience.

Thank you for these timely and helpful tips.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

would be so nice if we could KEEP these habits daily.