Corrugated cardboard shipping boxes

edited August 2017 in JCAHO Watch
Looking to solicit the following information from any organization that has recently been surveyed by TJC
Were you cited for having outside cardboard shipping containers and if so, what areas were they found in and what standard were you cited under?
Thanks in advance



  • edited August 2017
    Infection control standard and combustible load under life safety standard.
  • edited August 2017
    We haven't been cited, but we have been pushing VERY hard to get all corrugated boxes out regardless of it being a patient care area or not. It was easier to try to get them all out instead of picking and choosing areas.
    We have been encouraging other means of storage when we see them.
  • edited August 2017
    How successful have you been in Dietary getting rid of the corrugated boxes? This is our sticking point with the boxes as the Lot numbers and information for recalls are on the boxes and not the cans/ contents in the boxes.

    LeAnn Springman RN, BSN, MSA
    Saint Joseph Health System
    Mishawaka and Plymouth Campuses
    5215 Holy Cross Parkway
    Mishawaka, Indiana 46545
    1919 Lake Ave
    Plymouth, Indiana 46563
    Office: 574-335-2463

  • edited August 2017
    We have done a good job of removing shipping boxes.

    Our Facilities Safety person told me that the push is that all corrugated boxes go. There are some supplies that come in a corrugated box that has an outer shipping box. These have Lot numbers etc on the box. She told that the items need to be removed and that inner corrugated box be discarded.
    Has anyone else heard this?

    Regina C. Moran, RN MBA CPHQ
    Signature Healthcare
    Accreditation Readiness Specialist
    P: 508-941-7574 | E:
  • Yes, this is our practice as well.

    Jill Kloke RN, BSN
    Patient Safety and Accreditation Coordinator
    Clinical Effectiveness Department

    Office: 402-727-3459
    Fax: 402-727-3495

    450 East 23rd Street
  • edited August 2017
    We were told only the shipping boxes were not allowed in the clean storage areas. The boxes inside the shipping boxes were OK.
    Are people hearing differently?

  • edited August 2017
    Here's our citing from our December 2015 survey:

    The hospital reduces the risk of infections associated with medical equipment, devices, and supplies.
    EP 4
    The hospital implements infection prevention and control activities when doing the following: Storing medical equipment, devices, and supplies.

    Surveyor Findings:
    It was observed that several transport cardboard corrugated boxes were used for storage of medications, expired meds and other supplies increasing the risk of harboring vermin. During the survey, the corrugated cardboard boxes were removed from the pharmacy and replaced with plastic storage bins.

    Jacklyn Pitts MSN, RN
    Regulatory Manager
    Tel: 337-261-6368
  • edited August 2017
    So is the key word in your citation "Transport"? I can understand removing the container the product was transported in but removing every individual supply from every cardboard box would be next to impossible. I agree with the product expiration dates being an issue too.

    Jeffrey A. Harrison
    Regulatory Coordinator

    Lake Regional Health System
    Quality Management
    54 Hospital Drive | Osage Beach, MO 65065
    Phone: 573-348-8710
    Fax: 573-348-8272
  • edited August 2017
    We were surveyed this year and we did not have any issues with the internal boxes being in the store rooms. The external or shipping boxes are removed.

    Ann Ottman RN, MS
    Assistant Quality Officer
    Quality Improvement
    Strong Memorial Hospital

  • edited August 2017

    The issues the surveyors had with cardboard are that the cardboard absorbs water and insects can live inside the corrugated part, both of which are infection control concerns. To clarify: Pharmacy had a big shipping cardboard box that they were using to throw expired meds in until they could be picked up/destroyed. We weren't cited for having expired meds in circulation. We were cited for how the expired meds were being stored.

    I know it seems overwhelming to remove all cardboard, but remember that TJC expects that all containers/surfaces that store patient care supplies be cleanable/wipeable. Cardboard isn't a material that will standup to being cleaned/wiped.

    Hope that helps,

    Jacklyn Pitts MSN, RN
    Regulatory Manager
    Tel: 337-261-6368

  • edited August 2017
    In the main dietary area, they have gotten them out. I don't know how the lot numbers are handled.
    Honestly, there were a few units that weren't very happy about it because of the storage, manpower, and purchasing of different storage equipment in order to get rid of boxes.
    I haven't pushed the issue of the freezer. Storage is tight and without doing a formal risk assessment, we determined that the potential for bugs in a subzero freezer is nill to none. And once the boxes are brought out of the freezer, they are discarded.
    It's baby steps

  • edited August 2017
    I'm glad you shared this. One of our pharmacies had a small cow when we told them to get rid of boxes. The IV fluids are really heavy and hard to store because they are slick.
    They went to the big blue plastic containers. I kept telling them that they could get cited!

  • edited August 2017
    Definitely no shipping boxes, and for me personally, if it's corrugated it goes

  • edited August 2017
    Has anyone been cited for boxes in Dietary?? There are huge amounts of boxes there. We have removed from all other store rooms.
  • edited August 2017
    If it's corrugated we removed in all areas.


    Angela Locklear, MS, CCMSCP
    Manager, Survey Readiness
    Southeastern Health
    Phone: (910) 671-5095
    Cell: (910) 740-4391

    “Change is never easy, but we are not looking for easy, we are looking for meaningful” (Sheridan, 2015)

  • edited August 2017
    You might consider having the entire area deemed a "hazardous storage area". Discuss it with your Environment of Care lead.
  • There are few levels of packaging involved in the whole supply chain, and we can assist you on all levels providing the appropriate Custom Box Packaging solutions.The first level that is expected to be the original box that goes in the store shelves and attract customers. A diversity of materials used in primary packaging is the charm of this level as we can opt for white cardboard and economic Kraft paper as per the product requirement. This box has to be flawless and gorgeous because that is the magnet to compel the customers towards your merchandise.
  • All corrugated cardboard boxes and corrugated cardboard boxes are durable, accessible and created with practical needs in mind. Our larger custom packaging boxes can be used to move large objects.
Sign In or Register to comment.