June 10, 2020

Ensuring safe, and easy, passage


How often do you think about what you’re doing when you step on an elevator? How often do you wonder whether it will stop on the floor you’ve selected? “Kind of” on the floor you selected? Do you wonder if it will get stuck? Or move at all?

The answer likely is, “Not often.”

Why? Because we trust that all those who are involved in the operation of that elevator are doing their jobs. And that started with the construction of that building.

There now are accepted standards that dictate how classes of elevators need to be constructed, the safety features they will have, etc. And inspectors come to ensure that the elevator is put together correctly. Later, they come at regular intervals to ensure those standards remain in place and that the owners are doing necessary maintenance and improvements.

Consider an office building: The elevator shaft is the same dimensions from the lowest basement level to the highest floor. The car is the same.

What’s not the same? All kinds of things. The tenants. The rents that those tenants pay. Even the “wrap” on the elevator doors on each floor can be different.

It’s patently silly to suggest that an elevator standard is prohibiting anyone from making a living. And security can remain in place.

Floors can – and maybe should – be secured from random people walking in off the street. But if the office and a prospective visitor set an appointment and share an access code, the landlord – or the elevator manufacturer or the tenant of another floor – should decide whether that code will work.

Our view is the long-awaited Final Rule from The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is to help ensure that patients have the ability to move freely from one floor to another and – importantly – punish those who prevent that from happening.

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