Safety

Brace for more revisions to Joint Commission's EC and LS chapters

Hospital Safety Insider, April 20, 2017

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CMS review has prompted waves of changes.

Even more changes to The Joint Commission’s Environment of Care (EC) and Life Safety (LS) chapters are on the horizon.

Surveyors began checking in November for compliance with standards based on the 2012 Life Safety Code® and Health Care Facilities Code. Then The Joint Commission rolled out a set of chapter revisions that took effect in January. After further review by CMS officials, another round of revisions is set to take effect July 1.

These changes to the EC and LS chapters will apply to hospital, ambulatory care, critical access hospital, nursing care center, and home care programs, the commission said in its April edition of Perspectives. (The full list of revised prepublication standards is available online.)

This won’t be the final round of changes. Additional revisions to the LS and EC chapters are planned for 2018, the commission noted. These future revisions will account for the so-called “K-Tags,” or survey procedures, made available by CMS last September.

“When we were told last year, a year ago in May, about the adoption of the 2012 Life Safety Code, we then immediately began writing new standards and new [elements of performance],” said George Mills, Joint Commission director of engineering, during an American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) webinar this week outlining proposed changes in the works for next year.

Mills said CMS issued its new K-Tags last year over Labor Day weekend, prompting the revisions expected next year.

“They put additional things in their K-Tags that we did not know about when we wrote our standards in May of last year, so the January releases that we gave you are lacking the K-Tag input,” he said, noting that his team needed about 10 months to develop new language.

To stay up to date on the latest changes affective healthcare safety and compliance, be sure to check out HCPro’s safety newsletters.



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