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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 97-193



Adoption of 1996-97 Edition of ''Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospital and Health Care Facilities''

[27 Pa.B. 765]

   Under its authority under the Health Care Facilities Act (35 P. S. §§ 448.101--448.904b) and the hospital and ambulatory surgical facility regulations promulgated thereto, the Department of Health (Department) will adopt the 1996-97 edition of the ''Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospital and Health Care Facilities,'' (Guidelines) effective July 1, 1997. As of July 1, 1997, the Department will apply these new requirements to all plans for new construction or renovations for hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities.

   The Department currently applies the 1992-93 edition of the Guidelines, entitled ''Guidelines for Construction and Equipment of Hospital and Medical Facilities,'' for all new construction, renovations or modernization of hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities. The 1992-93 edition of the Guidelines will continue to be utilized through June 30, 1997.

   The Department has received inquiries regarding the implementation of the 1996-97 edition of the Guidelines, and when they would be enforced. The 1996-97 edition of the Guidelines can be utilized immediately; however, to allow adequate lead-in time for larger or more complicated projects, the mandatory usage of the new Guidelines will not take effect until July 1, 1997.

   The established procedure requires the submission of construction plans and the issuance of a final construction plan approval by the Division of Safety Inspection prior to the start of any new construction, renovation, modernization or changes in usage. Blueprints are to be submitted to the Division and are reviewed for compliance with the NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, and the requirements as set forth in the Guidelines. The plan approval function is a requirement to insure that all new construction or renovations comply with all applicable regulations to avoid building noncompliant conditions into hospital or ambulatory surgical buildings, which would necessitate costly remedial work to correct prior to the Department allowing the renovated area to be occupied.

   After construction has been completed, a final inspection must be conducted for Life Safety Code requirements by the Division of Safety Inspection, and for State licensure and/or Federal Certification requirements by the Division of Acute and Ambulatory Care Facilities prior to the use of the area.

   We recommend that smaller renovation projects or new additions be designed and submitted for approval based on compliance with the 1996-97 edition of the Guidelines as soon as possible. Although it is still permissible to utilize the 1992-93 edition until July 1, 1997, it would be prudent to utilize the 1996-97 edition. Larger or more complicated projects should be designed in conformance with the new Guidelines, however, all final plan approvals issued after June 30, 1997, will be reviewed for conformance with the 1996-97 edition of the Guidelines, regardless of when the preliminary plans were submitted.

   Those persons interested in purchasing a copy of the 1996-97 edition of the ''Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospital and Health Care Facilities'' may telephone 1 (800) 365-ARCH (2724) to place an order or request a catalog.

   Questions regarding this notice should be directed to Peter P. Petresky, Director, Division of Safety Inspection at (717) 787-1911. Persons with a disability who require an alternative format of this document should contact Peter P. Petresky so that he may make the necessary arrangements.

Acting Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 97-193. Filed for public inspection February 7, 1997, 9:00 a.m.]

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