Both the Florida edition (2018) and CMS edition (2012) of NFPA 99 require the same testing for electrical outlets at the resident bedside.
For non-hospital grade outlets at the resident bedside, the following must be tested at intervals not exceeding 12 months according to NFPA 99 (2018 and 2012 editions) 18.104.22.168:
1. The physical integrity of each receptacle shall be confirmed by visual inspection.
2. The continuity of the grounding circuit in each electrical receptacle shall be verified.
3. Correct polarity of the hot and neutral connections in each electrical receptacle shall be confirmed.
4. The retention force of the grounding blade of each electrical receptacle (except locking-type receptacles) shall be not less than 115 g (4 0z.)
It is worth noting that tension testing of the receptacle’s hot and neutral connections is not required.
When documenting the receptacle testing it is important to document each outlet at the resident bedside, and not simply the room number where the testing occurred. Each receptacle should have its own documentation for the four testing requirements.
For hospital grade outlets at the resident bedside, the same testing must be performed after initial installation, replacement, or servicing. Additional testing is performed at intervals defined by documented performance data.
NFPA 99 gives us a little insight into what “documented performance data” means in the handbook. The first source for this data could be from the manufacturer of the receptacle. Checking the instructions that are provided with the receptacle or contacting the manufacturer directly for this information should be the first step taken. NFPA 99 tells us the second source for the documented performance data could be our own, or another facility’s, experiential data. For example, if your facility tested hospital grade outlets every year and found no issues after 3 years, you can then make the determination that you will do the testing every 3rd year. That is just one example, and NFPA 99 makes it clear that they prescribe no time between test intervals and that facility managers are permitted to determine the testing intervals. Ideally the manufacturer will have the data readily available, but if not there needs to be some thought put into the testing program for these hospital grade outlets at the resident bedside.