Safety

2009 Joint Commission standards keep focus on disaster planning

Emergency Management Alert, July 22, 2008

The Joint Commission’s move to put its emergency management standards into a separate chapter in the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals should serve as even more warning to medical centers that surveyors will keep disaster planning in the forefront.

It’s important to remember that when this chapter takes effect on January 1, 2009, The Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO) will also lift its temporary embargo of certain emergency management deficiencies counting toward adverse accreditation decisions.

Issues to note in the new standards include the following:

  • EM.02.02.13 and EM.02.02.15 set requirements for offering disaster privileges to volunteer licensed independent practitioners and other volunteer practitioners who have some sort of certification (these provisions are currently under the medical staffing and human resource standards)

 

  • A new footnote under EM.01.01.01, element of performance (EP) 2, states that planning for surges of infectious patients falls under the revised infection control chapter

 

  •  A change in wording under EM.02.02.07, EP 3, more clearly notes that the emergency operations plan must describe how hospitals will assign staff members to cover essential functions during a disaster response

Those of you who need help navigating these changes should consider signing up for a special one-day seminar, Environment of Care for 2009, which takes place September 5 in Boston. Click here to see a full agenda and meet our expert speakers.

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