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July 15, 2015

Joint Commission, ASHE launch Physical Environment Portal

The Joint Commission and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) launched a new Physical Environment Portal July 14 to provide online resources and tools for hospitals to be compliant with the eight most challenging Joint Commission Life Safety (LS) and Environment of Care (EC) standards.

The new portal was unveiled at the ASHE Annual Conference in Boston. The portal is available to the public and includes resources for both facility managers and leadership. For Joint Commission-accredited organizations, there also is an enhanced feature that includes actual surveyor comments and other resources. While the overall portal is primarily geared toward hospitals, several of the upcoming education modules and other information will be relevant to ambulatory surgery centers and other health care organizations.

“The Joint Commission is very pleased to join with ASHE to offer the Physical Environment Portal,” said Dr. Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president and chief executive officer of The Joint Commission. “We created this portal in response to customer needs, identified through 10 focus groups with customers and surveyors. As the national leader in patient safety and health care improvement, we felt it was very important that each module be readily available at no charge to anyone seeking this information.”

Over the course of 16 months, the portal will highlight the eight LS and EC standards cited most frequently by The Joint Commission for noncompliance. Each standard will be highlighted in modules that are scheduled to be released in two parts; the first part to be released one month, and the second part to be released the following month. The first part of the module supports facilities managers by focusing on what the requirements are and what compliance should be. In the second part, a new component focuses on resources for leadership and the clinical team to assist in evaluating the organization’s level of compliance. A new module is to be posted every two months, with the previous ones remaining on the site.

The portal is housed on The Joint Commission website, with links to module-specific information on the ASHE site. There also will be solutions presented by Joint Commission Resources. Information will be offered in a variety of formats, including articles, videos and infographics.

“The facility and building systems play a vital role in creating the healing environment,” said Dale Woodin, CHFM, FASHE, senior executive director of ASHE. “Consistent compliance with the Environment of Care and Life Safety standards is an excellent indicator of high reliability in building systems. ASHE is proud to collaborate with The Joint Commission to provide focused tools and resources to assist organizations in achieving compliance and high reliability.” (Contact: George Mills,

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