Safety

Life safety deficiencies top 2008’s citation list, says The Joint Commission

Hospital Safety Insider, July 22, 2009

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It won’t take long for this cheery news to reach your bosses: Life Safety Code (LSC) violations became the top cited standard in all surveyed hospitals in 2008, The Joint Commission reports.
 
According to the July 2009 issue of Joint Commission Perspectives, 45% of surveyed hospitals received a citation for EC.5.20, the old 2008 standard for LSC compliance. That standard has since expanded into 10 life safety standards introduced in 2009.
 
Also, the old EC.5.40, which sets a variety of provisions for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire protection equipment, was the sixth most-cited standard last year, affecting 26% of hospitals. EC.5.40 has since been renumbered EC.02.03.05.
 
LSC deficiencies haven’t topped The Joint Commission’s most cited standards list in at least a decade, if ever. There is little doubt that this ranking is the culmination of the commission adding life safety specialists to survey teams back in 2005.
 
The addition of the specialists was prompted by a U.S. Government Accountability Office report that concluded Medicare validation surveys at hospitals uncovered serious fire safety deficiencies that Joint Commission surveyors hadn't identified in earlier visits.



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