Immediate-threat-to-life situations in 2009

Accreditation Connection, November 26, 2008

With the introduction of Life Safety Code® (LSC) surveyors to The Joint Commission’s survey process, the opportunity for hospitals to find themselves in preliminary denial of accreditation due to an immediate-threat-to-life situation—a situation so problematic that the lives or health of patients are immediately endangered—increased this year.

Scoring and other upcoming changes as of January 1, 2009, add to hospitals’ concerns about receiving a preliminary denial of accreditation.

Larry Poniatowski, RN, BSN, CSHA, principal consultant of accreditation compliance services at University HealthCare Consortium in Oak Brook, IL, notes key areas in addition to Environment of Care (EOC) standards in which the potential for confusion is cause for concern about immediate-threat-to-life situations.

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