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Environment of Care / Safety Committee - Criteria

What are The Joint Commission standards with regards to Environment of Care Committee requirements?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

The Joint Commission standards do not require an environment of care (or safety) committee.  Specific tools used to maintain compliance, like a multidisciplinary committee or environmental tours, are no longer specifically required.  

EC.01.01.01 requires an individual or individuals to manage risk, coordinate risk reduction activities in the physical environment, collect deficiency information, and disseminate summaries of actions and results.  This is typically accomplished by a committee of appropriately qualified and responsible personnel with expertise in the applicable portions of the environment of care chapter, to include safety, security, hazardous material and waste, fire safety, medical equipment management and utility systems management.  

Depending upon the size and complexity of the organization, these duties may be performed by one person, multiple persons, or persons assigned multiple duties.  By identifying one or more individuals to coordinate and manage risk assessment and reduction activities, organizations can be more confident that they have minimized the potential for harm and have effectively managed the required aspects of the environment of care.  

The Leadership Chapter establishes reporting relationships between leadership and responsible entities. If used, the make-up of the EOC committee, the frequency of meeting, the agenda items, and the reporting requirements are to be assessed based upon the particular circumstances of the organization in order to effectively monitor, analyze and improve the environment.  The organization must be able to demonstrate on-going activity throughout the reporting period in order to remain aware of the dynamic circumstances of a health care organization, to be able to assess situations and make needed changes, and to make an accurate evaluation of effectiveness at the end of the reporting period.  

Although not prescriptive, if the responsible group meets less frequently than quarterly, the survey process would likely require a satisfactory explanation of how it can effectively manage the dynamic character of a healthcare organization. The survey process will also validate that meetings are conducted in accordance with established policies, to include established frequencies and attendance requirements.   
Manual: Behavioral Health
Chapter: Environment of Care EC
First published date: April 11, 2016 This Standards FAQ was first published on this date.
This page was last updated on November 15, 2021

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