New Mexico Administrative Code
Title 7 - HEALTH
Chapter 7 - HOSPITALS

Universal Citation: 7 NM Admin Code

Current through Register Vol. 35, No. 6, March 26, 2024

A. General. The buildings of the hospital shall be constructed and maintained so that they are functional for diagnosis and treatment and for the delivery of the hospital services appropriate to the needs of the community and with due regard for protecting the life, health and safety of the patients and staff. The provisions of this section apply to all new, remodeled and existing construction unless otherwise noted.

B. Definitions in NMAC.

(1) "Building, existing" means a building erected prior to the adoption of this requirement, or one for which a legal building permit has been issued.

(2) "Existing construction" means a building, which is in place or is being constructed with plans approved by the department prior to the effective date of this chapter.

(3) "Full-term nursery" means an area in the hospital designated for the care of infants who are born following a full-term pregnancy and without complications, until discharged to a parent or other legally authorized person.

(4) "Intermediate nursery" means an area in the hospital designated for the care of infants immediately following birth who require observation due to complications, and for the care of infants who require observation following placement in the critical care nursery, until discharged to a parent or other legally authorized person.

(5) "Life safety code" means the standard adopted by the national fire protection association (NFPA) known as NFPA 101 life safety code.

(6) "New construction" means construction for the first time of any building or addition or remodeling to an existing building, the plans for which are approved after the effective date of this chapter.

(7) "Remodeling" means to make over or rebuild any portion of an existing building or structure and thereby modify its structure, structural strength, fire hazard character, exits, heating and ventilation systems, electrical system or internal circulation, as previously approved by the department. Where exterior walls are in place but interior walls are not in place at the time of the effective date of this chapter, construction of interior walls shall be considered remodeling. "Remodeling" does not include repairs necessary for the maintenance of a building or structure.

(8) "Special care unit" means an organized health care service that combines specialized facilities and staff for the intensive care and management of patients in a crisis or potential crisis state. "Special care units" include psychiatric special care, coronary care, surgical intensive care, medical intensive care and burn units, but do not include post-obstetrical or post-surgical recovery units or neonatal intensive care units.

C. Approvals. The hospital shall keep all documentation of inspections on file in the hospital following any inspections by state and local authorities for a period of five years.

D. Fire Protection.

(1) Basic Responsibility: The hospital shall provide fire protection adequate to ensure the safety of patients, staff and others on the hospital's premises. Necessary safeguards such as extinguishers, sprinkling and detection devices, fire and smoke barriers, and ventilation control barriers shall be installed and maintained to ensure rapid and effective fire and smoke control.

(2) New Construction: Any new construction or remodeling shall meet the applicable provisions of the current edition of the building code, fire code, life safety code, and AIA guidelines for hospitals and health care facilities.

(3) Existing Facilities: Any existing hospital shall be considered to have met the requirements of this subsection if, prior to the promulgation of this chapter, the hospital complied with and continues to comply with the applicable provisions of the 1967, 1973 or the current edition of the life safety code, with or without waivers.

(4) Equivalent Compliance: Any existing facility that does not meet all requirements of the applicable life safety code may be considered in compliance with life safety code if the facility achieves a passing score on the fire safety evaluation system (FSES) developed by the U.S. department of commerce, national bureau of standards, to establish safety equivalencies under the life safety code.

E. General Construction.

(1) Prior to any construction, one copy of schematic plans shall be submitted to the licensing authority for review and preliminary approval.

(2) Before construction is started, one copy of final plans and specifications which, are used for bidding purposes shall be submitted to the licensing authority for review and approval. Plans must be prepared, sealed, signed and dated by an architect registered in the state of New Mexico.

(3) If on-site construction above the foundation is not started within 12 months of the date of approval of the final plans and specifications, the approval under these requirements shall be void and the plans and specifications must be resubmitted for reconsideration of approval.

(4) Before any construction change(s) is undertaken affecting the approved final plans, modified plans shall be submitted to the licensing authority for review and approval. The licensing authority shall notify the hospital in writing of any conflict with this subchapter found in its review of modified plans and specifications.

(5) General: Projects involving alterations of, and additions to, existing buildings shall be programmed and phased so that on-site construction will comply with all codes and minimize disruptions of existing functions. Access, exit ways, and fire protection shall be so maintained that the safety of the occupants will not be jeopardized during construction.

(6) Minimum requirements: All requirements listed in Subsection G of NMAC New Construction, relating to new construction projects, are applicable to renovation projects involving additions or alterations. When existing conditions make changes impractical to accomplish, minor deviations from functional requirements may be permitted with the approval of the licensing authority if the intent of the requirements is met and if the care and safety of patients will not be jeopardized.

(7) Nonconforming condition: When doing renovation work, if it is found to be infeasible to correct all of the non-conforming conditions in the existing facility in accordance with these standards, acceptable compliance status may be recognized by the licensing agency if the operation of the facility, necessary access by the handicapped, and safety of the patients, are not jeopardized by the remaining non-conforming conditions.
(a) Plan approval and building permit by the construction industries division or local building department, are also required for any new construction or remodeling.

(b) Copies of the life safety codes and related codes can be obtained from the national fire protection association, 11 tracy drive, avon, MA 02322.

F. Construction and Inspections. Construction shall not commence until plan-review deficiencies have been satisfactorily resolved.

(1) The completed construction shall be in compliance with the approved drawings and specifications, including all addenda or modifications approved for the project.

(2) A final inspection of the facility will be scheduled for the purpose of verifying compliance with the licensing standards, and approved plans and specifications.

(3) The facility shall not occupy any new structure or major addition or renovation space until the appropriate permission has been received from the local building and fire authorities and the licensing authority.

G. New Construction.

(1) General: Every hospital building hereafter constructed, every building hereafter converted for use as a hospital, and every addition and/or alteration hereafter made to a hospital shall comply with the requirements of these standards.
(a) Compliance with these standards does not constitute release from the requirements of other applicable state and local codes and ordinances. These standards must be followed where they exceed other codes and ordinances.

(b) No building may be converted for use as a licensed hospital, which because of its location, physical condition, state of repair, or arrangement of facilities, would be hazardous to the health and safety of the patients who would be housed in such a building. Any hospital or related institution that has been vacated in excess of one year or used for occupancy other than health care will be classified as a new facility.

(c) All new construction, remodeling and additions must meet requirements set forth by these standards, the building and fire codes and by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), for accessibility for persons with disabilities.

(2) Codes and standards: In addition to compliance with these standards, all other applicable building codes, ordinances, and regulations under city, county or other state agency jurisdiction shall be observed.
(a) Compliance with local codes shall be pre-requisite for licensing. In areas not subject to local building codes, the state building codes shall be pre-requisite for licensing, as adopted.

(b) New construction for acute-care hospitals, limited services hospitals and special hospitals are governed by the current editions of the following codes and standards: uniform building code (UBC), uniform plumbing code (UPC), uniform mechanical code (UMC), national electric code (NEC), national fire protection association standards (NFPA), American national standards institute (ANSI), American society of heating, refrigerating, and air conditioning engineers (ASHREA), American institute of architects (AIA), academy of architecture for health guidelines for design and construction of hospital and health care facilities, NFPA101, and New Mexico building code (NMBC).

H. Patient Rooms-General.

(1) Bed capacity: Each hospital's bed capacity may not exceed the capacity approved by the licensing authority.

(2) Privacy: Visual privacy shall be provided for each patient in multi-bed patient rooms. In new or remodeled construction, cubicle curtains shall be provided.

(3) Toilet room:
(a) In new construction, each patient room shall have access to one toilet without entering the general corridor area. One toilet room shall serve no more than four beds and no more than two patient rooms. Where the toilet room serves more than two beds an additional hand washing shall be placed in the patient room.

(b) In new and remodeled construction, the door to the patient toilet room shall swing into the patient room, or two-way hardware shall be provided.

(c) The minimum door width to the patient toilet room shall be 36 inches (91.4 cm) for new construction. The door shall swing outward or be double acting.

(4) Minimum floor area: The minimum floor area per bed shall be 100 square feet of clear floor area in multi-bed patient rooms, and 120 square feet of clear floor area in single-bed patient rooms, exclusive of toilet rooms, closets, lockers, wardrobes, alcoves or vestibules.

(5) Minimum furnishing:
(a) A hospital-type bed with suitable mattress, pillow and the necessary coverings shall be provided for each patient.

(b) There shall be a bedside table or stand and chair for each patient.

(c) Each patient shall have within his/her room adequate storage space suitable for hanging full-length garments and for storing personal effects.

I. Isolation Room(s). Rooms shall be provided for isolation of patients whose condition require isolation for physical health reasons.

(1) Each isolation room shall have a separate toilet, bathtub (or shower), and a hand washing sink. These shall be arranged to permit access from the bed area without passing through the work area of the vestibule or anteroom.

(2) Each room shall have an area for hand washing, gowning, and storage of soiled materials located directly outside or immediately inside the entry door to the room.

(3) Each room shall have self-closing devices on all room exit doors. All wall, ceiling and floor penetrations in the room shall be sealed tightly.

J. Patient Care.

(1) Nursing station or administrative center: Nursing stations or administrative centers in patient care areas of the hospital may be located to serve more than one nursing unit, but at least one of these service areas shall be provided on each nursing floor or wing. The station or center shall contain:
(a) storage for records, manuals and administrative supplies;

(b) an area for charting when the charts of patients are not maintained at patient rooms;

(c) hand washing sink conveniently accessible to the nurse station;

(d) staff toilet room: in new construction, a staff toilet room and hand washing sink shall be provided on each nursing unit; and

(e) securable closet or cabinet for the personal articles of nursing personnel, located in or near the nursing station.

(2) Utility areas: A utility area room for soiled linen and other clean articles shall be readily accessible to each nursing utility area. Each room shall have:
(a) storage facilities for supplies;

(b) a hand washing sink;

(c) work counters; and

(d) a waste receptacle.

(3) Bathing Facilities: Showers and bathtubs. When individual bathing facilities are not provided in patient rooms, there shall be at least one shower and/or one bathtub for each 12 beds without such facilities. Each bathtub or shower shall be in an individual room or enclosure that provides privacy for bathing, drying, and dressing. One special bathing facility, including space for attendants, shall be provided for patients on stretchers, carts and wheelchairs for each 100 beds or fraction thereof.

(4) Equipment and supply storage: An equipment and supply storage room or alcove shall be provided for storage of equipment necessary for patient care. Its location shall not interfere with the flow of traffic.

(5) Corridors and passageways: Corridors and passageways in patient care areas shall be free of obstacles.

(6) Housekeeping closet: A housekeeping closet shall be provided on the nursing unit or sufficient cleaning supplies and equipment shall be readily accessible to the nursing unit.

(7) Patient call system: A reliable call mechanism shall be provided in locations where patients may be left unattended, including patients' rooms, toilet and bathing areas and designed high risk treatment areas where individuals may need to summon assistance.

K. Additional Requirements for Particular Patient Care Areas.

(1) Special care units.
(a) In new construction, sufficient viewing panels shall be provided in doors and walls for observation of patients. Curtains or other means shall be provided to cover the viewing panels when privacy is desired.

(b) In new construction, a sink equipped for hand-washing and a toilet shall be provided in each private patient room. In multi-bed rooms at least one sink and one toilet for each six beds shall be provided. Individual wall-hung toilet facilities with private curtains or another means of safeguarding privacy may be substituted for a toilet room.

(c) In new construction, all beds shall be arranged to permit visual observation of the patient by the nursing staff from the nursing station. In existing facilities, if visual observation is not possible from the nursing station, sufficient staffing or television monitoring shall permit continuous visual observation of the patient.

(d) In new construction, the dimensions and clearances in special care unit patient rooms shall be as follows: single bed rooms shall have minimum dimensions of 10 feet by 12 feet, multi-bed rooms shall have minimum side clearances between beds of at least seven feet, and in all rooms the clearance at each side of each bed shall be not less than three feet six inches and the clearance at the foot of each bed shall be not less than four feet.

(2) Psychiatric units: The requirements for patient room under Paragraph (8) of Subsection B of NMAC apply to patient rooms in psychiatric nursing units and psychiatric hospital except as follows:
(a) in new construction or remodeling, a staff emergency call system shall be included. When justified by psychiatric program requirements and with the approval of the licensing authority, call cords from wall-mounted stations of individual patients rooms may be removed;

(b) doors to patient rooms and patient toilet room doors may not be lockable from the inside;

(c) patients' clothing and personal items may be stored in a separate designated area which is locked;

(d) moveable hospital beds are not required for ambulatory patients.

(3) Surgical and recovery facilities must:
(a) have at least one room equipped for surgery and used exclusively for this purpose;

(b) have a scrub room or scrub area adjacent to the surgery room used exclusively for this purpose;

(c) have a clean-up or utility room;

(d) have a storage space for sterile supplies;

(e) have means for calling for assistance in an emergency in each operating room;

(f) have housekeeping facilities adequate to maintain the operating room or rooms;

(g) have a flash sterilizer, unless sterilization facilities are accessible from the surgery area;

(h) be located and arranged to prevent unrelated traffic through the suite;

(i) ensure the room or rooms for post-anesthesia recovery of surgical patients shall at a minimum contain a medications storage area, hand-washing facilities and sufficient storage space for needed supplies and equipment; and

(j) have available oxygen and suctioning equipment in the operating suite and recovery rooms.

(4) Labor and delivery.
(a) The labor and delivery unit shall be located and arranged to prevent unrelated traffic through the unit.

(b) Facilities within the labor and delivery unit shall include: at least one room equipped as a delivery room and used exclusively for obstetrical purposes, a scrub-up room adjacent to the operative delivery unit if operative deliveries are performed, a clean-up or utility room with a flush-rim clinical sink, and a separate janitor's closet with room for housekeeping supplies for the unit.

(c) In new construction, in addition to lightning for general room illumination, adjustable examination and treatment lights shall be provided for each labor bed.

(d) The following equipment shall be available: sleeping unit for each infant, and a clock.

(e) Space for necessary housekeeping equipment in or near the nursery is required.

(f) An examination area and workspace for each nursery shall be provided.

(5) Isolation nursery.
(a) If an isolation nursery is provided in new construction: the isolation nursery shall be within the general nursery area and may not open directly to another nursery, and access to the isolation nursery shall be through an anteroom which shall have at least a sink equipped for hand-washing, gowning facilities, an enclosed storage space for clean linen and equipment and a closed hamper for disposal of refuse.

(b) A private patient room with hand-washing facilities may be used as an isolation nursery.

(6) Postpartum lounge area: The lounge and dining room when provided for maternity patients shall be separate from other areas.

L. Other Physical Environment

(1) Thresholds and expansion joint: Thresholds and expansion joint covers shall be flush with the floor surface to facilitate the use of wheelchairs and carts, and as may be required by OSHA. Expansion and seismic joints shall be constructed to restrict the passage of smoke.

(2) Emergency fuel and water: The hospital shall make provisions for obtaining emergency fuel and water supplies.

(3) Emergency lighting system: The emergency lighting system and equipment shall be tested at least monthly.

(4) Diagnostic and therapeutic facilities, supplies and equipment: Diagnostic and therapeutic facilities supplies and equipment shall be sufficient in number and in good repair to permit medical and nursing staffs to provide an acceptable level of patient care.

(5) Walls and ceilings: The walls and ceilings shall be kept in good repair. Loose, cracked or peeling wallpaper and paint of walls and ceilings shall be replaced or repaired. Washable ceilings shall be provided in surgery rooms, delivery rooms, janitor closets and utility rooms.

(6) Floors: All floor materials shall be easy to clean and have wear and moisture resistance appropriate for the location. Floors in areas used for food preparation or food assembly shall be water-resistant and grease-proof and shall be kept clean and in good repair.

(7) Cords: Electrical cords shall be maintained in good repair.

(8) Carpeting:
(a) Carpeting may not be installed in rooms used primarily for food preparation and storage, dish and utensil washing, cleaning of linen an utensils, storage of janitor supplies, laundry processing, hydrotherapy, toiling and bathing, patient isolation or patient examination.

(b) Carpeting, including any underlying padding, shall have a flame spread rating permitted by the national fire protection association's national fire codes. Certified proof by the manufacturer of this test for the specific product shall be available in the facility. Certification by the installer that the material installed is the product referred to in the test shall be obtained by the facility. Carpeting may not in any case be applied to walls except where flame spread rating can be shown to be twenty-five (25) or less.

(9) Acoustical tile: Acoustical tile shall be non-combustible and non-asbestos.

(10) Wastebaskets: Wastebaskets shall be made of non-combustible materials.

(11) Fire report: All incidents of fire in a facility shall be reported in writing to the licensing authority within 72 hours of the incident.

M. Maintenance. The hospital must maintain written evidence of routine maintenance performed for the facility, supplies and equipment to ensure an acceptable level of safety and quality.

Disclaimer: These regulations may not be the most recent version. New Mexico may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
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