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Wednesday 8:17 CST, March 20, 2019

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April 2013 Archive for Ambulatory Buzz

RSS Feed RSS By: Pearl Darling, Executive Director, Ambulatory Health Care

Information on all things ambulatory from The Joint Commission

Safety culture project seeks ambulatory pilots: the juice is definitely worth the squeeze

Apr 30, 2013 | Comments (0) | 4360 Views

Safety culture is kind of like air. You can’t see it or touch it, and you take it for granted sometimes. But, without it, you are in big trouble.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to dig in and see what you uncover about the safety culture at your ambulatory organization, consider being a pilot site for the Safety Culture project.

doctors_safety_culture_resized_ambuzzSince 2011, the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare and seven participating medical centers have been working together collaboratively to try to understand the factors that undermine a culture of safety, and develop effective solutions.

The next step in this project is to identify one or more ambulatory organizations to serve as pilot sites to test these solutions. “We really need the ambulatory voice on this project,” says Coleen Smith, R.N., M.B.A., CPHQ, Black Belt, High Reliability Initiatives director. “It’s important to make sure these solutions work for all types of organizations.”

There are two ways to collaborate on the Safety Culture project: Pilot Phase I and Beta Testing Pilot Phase II. In both cases, your organization would be asked to:

  • build a project team
  • measure baseline performance
  • identify root causes
  • implement targeted solutions
  • validate improvements
  • monitor those improvements

“The 10-plus customers who piloted Center projects on wrong site surgery and hand-off communications surpassed their peers in addressing important patient safety issues,” says Michael Kulczycki, executive director, ambulatory care accreditation. “They also received local and national recognition for their efforts.”

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of collaborating on this project, contact Michael Kulczycki at

Read more about the Center’s Safety Culture project.  

By the numbers
4.30.1789  George Washington inaugurated as first President of the United States at Federal Hall in New York City.


Four important things to know if you are a business occupancy

Apr 02, 2013 | Comments (1) | 9413 Views

blueprints_hardhatIf your ambulatory care facility provides anesthesia or outpatient services to three or less outpatients at the same time, making them incapable of saving themselves in emergencies, then your facility is considered a business occupancy.  

Here are four key things to keep in mind if you are a business occupancy, according to Joint Commission engineer Anne Guglielmo:

  1. The Life Safety chapter in the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Ambulatory Care does not apply to business occupancies. However, business occupancies do have to comply with standards in the Environment of Care chapter that cover Life Safety issues, such as EC.02.03.01: The organization manages fire risks. The note under EP 4 (The organization maintains free and unobstructed access to all exits) states, “This requirement applies to all buildings classified as a business occupancy.”
  2. Standard EC.02.03.05 states the organization maintains fire safety equipment and fire safety building features. Our standards don’t require business occupancies to have specific equipment such as fire alarms, extinguishers, or sprinkler systems; however, if you occupy or lease space in a building with this type of equipment, then those requirements apply. During the survey process you will be asked to show that documentation of proper maintenance and testing activities.
  3. Make sure that you understand our environment of care requirements if you are moving into a new space. Before signing a new lease agreement, you might consider sitting down with your lawyer and the building owner to explain the testing and maintenance requirements. If you are the first ambulatory care provider in the building, the building manager may not be testing emergency power systems as required. It is much easier for your organization to have these requirements written into your lease agreement, rather than find out after the fact it isn’t being done.
  4.  If you are building a new space for your organization, consider hiring a design professional with health care experience who understands the proper codes. Standard EC.02.06.05 references state rules and regulations and Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities, administered by the Facility Guidelines Institute and published by the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE).


For more information, call The Joint Commission’s engineering team, (630) 792-5900.


By the numbers

148 - The number of tornadoes that hit North America from Georgia to Canada within 16 hours on
April 3, 1974. There were as many as 15 separate tornadoes on the ground at one time.