Explore the outside standards cited within the EC chapter

Hospital Safety Insider, September 23, 2009

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It seems like enough work to know The Joint Commission’s environment of care standards, but are you up on all the other codes, standards, and guidelines to which the accreditor refers?

If not, you put yourself at a disadvantage come survey time, says Dean Samet, CHSP, former senior engineer for The Joint Commission and current director of regulatory compliance services at Smith Seckman Reid, Inc., in Nashville.

Joint Commission surveyors are required to learn about various references within the EC standards and then undergo testing before they’re allowed out in the field, Samet says. So surveyors, in theory, should be familiar with the Life Safety Code®, OSHA’s bloodborne pathogens standard, the Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990, or any of the other codes and standards mentioned in the EC chapter.

The Joint Commission occasionally adds cited material to the EC standards, such as an increasing number of Sentinel Event Alerts and National Patient Safety Goals, to help prevent employee and patient safety issues from arising at hospitals, Samet says.
For example, EC.02.01.01, element of performance 1 cites “credible external sources such as Sentinel Event Alerts,” which opens the door for almost any standard or practice pertaining to the EC.
Subscribers to the Hospital Safety Center can find more details in this month’s Briefings on Hospital Safety, including how to make staff members aware of external sources of information as a means of EC compliance.
If you’re not a subscriber, try our free 14-day trial and see for yourself why the Hospital Safety Center is the leading one-stop resources for healthcare safety professionals. 

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