Each year, accrediting organizations (AOs) present at the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition. With so many regulatory changes, the sessions last August were standing room-only. Three of the nine hospital AOs presented and addressed important advocacy issues:

  • Former Joint Commission Department of Engineering Director George Mills introduced the new Survey Analysis for Evaluating Risk (SAFER) matrix. “The SAFER matrix was created … to portray in a graphic representation to leadership where the findings landed in a sense of priority,” Mills said. In regard to qualifications to work on doors, Mills said, “as long as the individual can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the components of the door being tested, they are qualified [and] no certification is necessary.” 
  • DNV GL Healthcare looks to good leadership and commitment for successful surveys, with 10 areas that demonstrate top management commitment. These include taking accountably and effectiveness, resources being made readily available, demonstrating support of midlevel management, and managers demonstrating their leadership as it applies to their areas of responsibility. “Top management must be aware of and provide resources to support changes and fixes to impairments,” said Kelly Proctor, physical environment sector leader.
  • Life Safety Code Consultant Brad Keyes, former engineering adviser for the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), provided an overview of the HFAP process. Keyes discussed the current position of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding occupancy classification of emergency departments (EDs). According to communications HFAP had with CMS, EDs that have four or more observation beds must be classified as health care occupancy. If the ED has three or fewer observation beds, then it may be classified as ambulatory occupancy. 

ASHE members can access the complete sessions online.

Chad E. Beebe, AIA, CHFM, CFPS, CBO, FASHE, is ASHE deputy executive director for advocacy.