Joint Commission and ASHE Launch Portal to Address Environmental Challenges

The Joint Commission and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) have launched the new Physical Environment Portal to provide online resources and tools for hospitals to be compliant with the eight most challenging Joint Commission Life Safety (LS) and Environment of Care (EC) standards.

The new portal was unveiled in front of an audience at the ASHE annual conference in Boston. It is now publicly available and includes resources for both facility managers and leadership. For Joint Commission-accredited organizations, there also is an enhanced feature that includes actual surveyor comments and other resources. While the overall portal is primarily geared toward hospitals, several of the upcoming education modules and other information will be relevant to ambulatory surgery centers and other health care organizations. 

“The Joint Commission is very pleased to join with ASHE to offer the Physical Environment Portal,” says Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president and CEO of the Joint Commission. “We created this portal in response to customer needs, identified through 10 focus groups with customers and surveyors. As the national leader in patient safety and health care improvement, we felt it was very important that each module be readily available at no charge to anyone seeking this information.”

Over the course of 16 months, the portal will highlight the eight LS/EC standards cited most frequently by the Joint Commission for non-compliance. Each standard will be highlighted in modules that are two months in length. The first month of the module supports facilities managers by focusing on what the requirements are and what compliance should be. In the second month, a new component focuses on resources for leadership and the clinical team to assist in evaluating the organization’s level of compliance. A new module is posted every two months, with the previous ones remaining on the site.

The portal is housed on the Joint Commission website, with links to module-specific information on the ASHE site. There also will be solutions presented by Joint Commission Resources. Information will be offered in a variety of formats, including articles, videos and infographics.

“The facility and building systems play a vital role in creating the healing environment,” says Dale Woodin, CHFM, FASHE, senior executive director of ASHE. “Consistent compliance with the Environment of Care and Life Safety standards is an excellent indicator of high reliability in building systems. ASHE is proud to collaborate with the Joint Commission to provide focused tools and resources to assist organizations in achieving compliance and high reliability.”

The portal topics, in order of release, are:
• Introduction – July 14-31, 2015
• Utility Systems - EC.02.05.01 August/September 2015
• Means of Egress - LS.02.01.20 October/November 2015
• Built Environment - EC.02.06.01 December/January 2016
• Fire Protection - EC.02.03.05 February/March 2016
• General Requirements - LS.02.01.10 April/May 2016
• LS Protection - LS.02.01.30 June/July 2016
• Automated Suppression Systems - August/September 2016
• Haz Mat/Waste Management - EC.02.02.01 October/November 2016

Source:  Joint Commission

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