DNV Healthcare USA Inc. updated standards within its National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations® (NIAHO®) program, introducing new Standard Requirements (SR) and a deletion in its Physical Environment (PE) chapter that went into effect September 2023.

According to Clinton Butts, CFPS, CHOP, standards application and interpretations specialist for DNV, these changes are part of the accrediting organization’s continual process to provide relevancy in its requirements to promote a safer health care environment. Below is an overview of changes DNV-accredited organizations should be aware of: 

  • Interpretive guidance in PE.1 now provides direction for annual evaluations of management plans and facility equipment maintenance.
  • PE.2, SR.2, is a new requirement that says accredited organizations must maintain life safety drawings. Surveyors will utilize these drawings to verify compliance with the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®. While accuracy is essential, the drawings do not need to be created by professionals like architects or engineers.
  • PE.2, SR.6d, is an added standard reflecting requirements from NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, which says organizations must conduct annual operating room fire exit drills and fire safety training.
  • PE.2, SR.10a, is another addition and pertains to requirements for fire extinguisher inspections, ensuring monthly inspections.
  • PE.3, SR.4, directs organizations to maintain a hazard-free environment and oversee staff activities to minimize the risk of occupational illnesses or injuries. 
  • The interpretive guidance for PE.3 emphasizes that all organizations, including government-owned facilities, must ensure a secure workplace that meets the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's minimum standards.
  • PE.8, SR1.a, is a new requirement that mandates the implementation of a water management program.
  • Recognizing cybersecurity as a significant threat to health care facilities that extends beyond information technology systems, PE.4, PE.6, PE.7, and PE.8 now incorporate requirements or guidance on cybersecurity issues. 
  • PE.4, SR.4b, specifically mandates organizations to address cybersecurity issues.
  • Guidance on facility equipment was relocated from PE.7 to PE.1 and now has an added focus on maintaining the cybersecurity of medical equipment.
  • PE.8, SR.2a, introduces a requirement to address the cybersecurity of facility equipment.

fact sheet from DNV shares more information regarding these updates.