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11/02/2017

Joint Commission Updates to Emergency Management standards

 Joint Comm Online

Effective Nov. 15: Updates to Emergency Management standards

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In response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) final rule on emergency preparedness in September 2016, The Joint Commission updated its Emergency Management (EM) standards. Initially communicated in the Sept. 13 issue of Joint Commission Online, the standards revisions are now available. The most significant changes are to the home health settings with 39 new or revised elements of performance (EPs), then ambulatory health care with 29. Hospitals and critical access hospitals each have 21 new requirements.

The Joint Commission will begin surveying to the updated EM requirements as of the rule’s Nov. 15, 2017, implementation date. These updated requirements will apply to accredited deemed hospitals, critical access hospitals, home health agencies, hospices and ambulatory surgical centers, as well as rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers.

New EPs have been created to address key areas in preparedness and response, including the following:

  • Continuity of operations and succession plans
  • Documentation of collaboration with local, tribal, regional, state and federal EM officials
  • Contact information on volunteers and tribal groups
  • Annual training of all new/existing staff, contractors and volunteers
  • Integrated health care systems

Hospitals and critical access hospitals have an additional emergency and standby power system requirement, and hospitals have an additional requirement for transplant services.

The final rule aims to establish national emergency preparedness requirements that are designed to aid health care organizations in properly planning for natural and human-caused disasters, while also coordinating with federal, state, tribal, regional and local emergency preparedness systems. It also is intended to help prepare providers and suppliers to meet the needs of patients, residents, clients and communities during emergency events and throughout recovery.

View the prepublication standards for:



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