The November 2016 issue of Joint Commission Perspectives also discusses the changes to the clarification process for 2017 and one change dramatically changes the advice we have given to clients for years. We have always advised against getting into standards interpretation arguments with your surveyors, and to instead rely on the post survey clarification process. That has to change in 2017 as TJC aspires to hash-out disagreements on the spot with the Standards Interpretation Group (SIG), the surveyor, and you through a conference call.
The Clarifications and Expectations column resumed in the December 2016 issue of Joint Commission Perspectives and EC News. If you have access to both newsletters, we would suggest reading the EC News version as it has some boxed tips and photographs that add depth to the article; these are not included in the Perspectives version. This month they provide a detailed explanation ofand that is particularly helpful because this standard was modified when TJC eliminated the plan for improvement (PFI).
The December edition of Joint Commission Perspectives and the November 23 edition of JC Online describes the changes planned for evaluating ILSM’s, or interim life safety measures. Effective immediately if TJC identifies a life safety code defect during a survey, surveyors will discuss that defect with the organization and ask which of your interim life safety measures are going to be implemented in order to protect patients, staff and visitors until the defect can be corrected. The chosen ILSM should come from your ILSM policy.
Cyber Security Addressed
The lead article in the November 2016 issue of EC News is about cyber security. Given that we have just concluded a long presidential campaign where cyber security became a hot button topic, this discussion for hospitals is very timely. The article suggests including cyber attacks in your hazard vulnerability assessment, which must be updated each year. There is also a sidebar reference to a host of cyber security references. We probably all get several emails each week allegedly from FedEx stating they could not deliver a package, or some bank you don’t have an account with stating they need your information and they provide you a zip file to click. Hopefully now that the presidential campaign is over with, we have all been made better aware that clicking any of these links can be dangerous, either to personal information, or your hospitals information. The article is definitely worth sharing with IT and the staff who lead your emergency management planning.
The Joint Commission recently published new EC and LS chapters with two documents posted to the TJC website, one being just the new standards and the second being a side-by-side comparison of the new standards and the old standards. This latter document is the most useful of the two to analyze because it allows you to scan each requirement to see what is identical and what is new. You want someone with great attention to detail and reading skills to read this document and highlight each requirement that is new, or now includes new NFPA references.