Life safety concerns top The Joint Commission’s citation list

Hospital Safety Insider, November 11, 2009

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In sobering news for hospital safety professionals, four of the top 10 most cited Joint Commission standards in the first half of 2009 involved fire safety concerns.
According to the November Joint Commission Perspectives, the following life safety and environment of care standards were trouble spots:
  • LS.02.01.20 (top cited standard, with 45% of hospitals receiving findings), which requires hospitals to maintain their means of egress
  • LS.02.01.10 (second most cited at 43%), which requires hospitals to design and maintain building features to minimize the effects of smoke and fire
  • EC.02.03.05 (tied for fourth most cited at 38%), which requires hospitals to inspect, test, and maintain fire protection equipment
  • LS.02.01.30 (sixth most cited at 36%), which requires hospitals to maintain building features to protect people from smoke and fire
These citations are a culmination of the efforts of Joint Commission life safety specialists, who debuted in 2005 following a scathing report in 2004 from the Government Accountability Office. That report highlighted hospital deficiencies noted by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that Joint Commission surveyors did not catch in earlier visits, and life safety problems in particular were scrutinized.
If you haven’t yet participated, we still have our anonymous online poll open for those of you who underwent a Joint Commission survey in 2009. We want to hear from you about how surveyors reviewed the physical environment provisions.
Once compiled and analyzed, we will publish the results of our poll in a free online special report at the beginning of 2010.

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