Joint Commission Clarifies IC Requirements Related to Medical Equipment, Devices and Supplies

Effective immediately, the Joint Commission has clarified elements of performance 1 and 2 for infection prevention and control standard IC.02.02.01, which address reducing the risks associated with medical equipment, devices and supplies.

The changes to EP 1 affect the ambulatory, behavioral healthcare, critical access hospital, home care, hospital, laboratory, long-term care, and office-based surgery programs, and the changes to EP 2 affects the ambulatory, critical access hospital, hospital, laboratory, long-term care, and office-based surgery programs.

Over the past year, significant issues have emerged related to cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing medical equipment, devices and supplies (for example, the proper use of steam sterilization and adequate high-level disinfection of endoscopes), which has added to confusion in the field. EP 1 has been clarified to address lower risk processes, such as cleaning and low-level disinfection. EP 2 has been clarified to address higher risk processes, specifically intermediate and high level disinfection along with sterilization.

For more information, see the pre-publication standards on the Joint Commission Web site, and the October 2009 issue of The Joint Commission’s Perspectives.