The Joint Commission revises two chapters

The Joint Commission has issued revisions to the Environment of Care (EC) and Life Safety (LS) chapters of the Comprehensive Accreditation Manuals for Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals. These revisions take effect Jan. 1, 2023. The revisions include three changes to EC elements of performance, two of which are clarifications. The third, however, is a new requirement that hospitals must conduct an annual drill in their operating rooms/surgical suites. This drill is in addition to quarterly drills already required. The changes in the LS chapter include clarifying changes as well as changes to the LS.05 standards that are applicable to business occupancies. The changes were made to better align the LS chapter with requirements of the 2012 edition of the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®.

ASHRAE issues new errata sheet for Standard 170

A new errata sheet for ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170-2021, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities, includes additions and deletions related to air filtration and temperature ranges. The first change eliminates a duplicated requirement that specifies HEPA filter use in operating rooms for orthopedic procedures, transplants and neurosurgery, or dedicated burn units. The second change revises design parameters for temperature ranges in residential health, care and support-specific spaces. This latest errata sheet was released Sept. 1 and replaces the previous errata sheet released in November 2021.

The Joint Commission initiates holistic review

As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reviews whether certain requirements waived under the COVID-19 public health emergency should be permanently retired, The Joint Commission (TJC) has announced that it is following suit and addressing the necessity of its own unique requirements. TJC detailed three questions that will help guide its process: Does the requirement still address an important quality and safety issue? Is the requirement redundant? Are the time and resources needed to comply with the requirement commensurate with the estimated benefit to patient care and health outcomes? In addition, TJC is also reviewing “above-and-beyond” requirements, which are those that go beyond the CMS Conditions of Participation (CoPs) and are not on crosswalks to the CoPs.

AHRQ releases guide on reducing carbon emissions

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently released a guide to help health care organizations reduce their carbon emissions. “Reducing Healthcare Carbon Emissions: A Primer on Measures and Actions to Mitigate Climate Change” offers strategies, examples from the field, and measures to track progress in six areas: building energy; transportation; anesthetic gas; pharmaceuticals and chemicals; medical devices and supplies; and food. The primer also features vignettes of what systems have done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and includes a collection of resources and tools to support implementation. AHRQ worked with experts in health care sustainability, clinical practice and health system leadership to develop the resource.