Receptacles with insulated grounding terminals are no longer allowed in a patient care area.

517.16 Receptacles With Insulated Grounding Terminals. Receptacles having insulated grounding terminals (isolated ground receptacles) [250.146(D)] aren’t permitted to be installed in patient care areas. (click here to see Fig. 18)

Analysis: In a rather substantial change to the health care provisions, isolated ground receptacles are no longer permitted in patient care areas. The wiring method in these locations requires two equipment grounding conductors — one of the wiring method type; the other in the form of an insulated green conductor [517.13]. Using an isolated ground receptacle defeats the entire concept of this dual equipment ground concept by effectively removing the metal wiring method equipment grounding conductor. In these areas, the patient is often involved in an invasive procedure, meaning the human skin is broken, typically by an incision. When this is the case, the patient is much more vulnerable to electric shock. In fact, current applied directly to the circulatory system of the patient can easily cause death at current levels lower than even a GFCI will protect against. Previous editions of the NEC included an Informational Note telling the Code user that the use of these receptacles was a bad idea in these areas. With this change, the Code rule now recognizes that fact and prohibits the practice altogether.