The Joint Commission conducts environment of care audits during their surveys to accredit and certify healthcare facilities. However, what is environment of care and how do you ensure that you are compliant? One of the main ways to ensure healthcare regulatory compliance is to conduct regular environment of care rounds. This will help you pass your healthcare facility audit and keep your patients, staff, and visitors safe.
What Do Environment of Care Audits Cover?
Environment of care refers to standards to improve safety and functionality of healthcare areas. Essentially, environment of care audits evaluate whether a space is safe for patients, staff, and visitors. The Joint Commission looks at how you manage the following categories:
- Hazardous materials and waste
- Fire safety
- Medical equipment
Creating plans and inspecting these areas help ensure that your environment reduces safety risks for those within your facility. The best way to ensure that you pass your environment of care audits is to identify areas of noncompliance, implement policies to make them safer, and regularly maintaining these areas. A great way to ensure compliance is to conduct regular environment of care (EOC) rounds.
How to Ensure Healthcare Regulatory Compliance with EOC Rounds
Environment of care rounds are regular inspections conducted by a healthcare facility to ensure that EOC standards are being met. While there is no standard procedure for rounds as part of your environment of care audits, your facility should conduct daily and regulated rounds. Daily EOC rounds inspect general areas, while regulated rounds target specific areas within a certain time period. For example, your regulated rounds should include patient care areas every six months. For healthcare accreditation compliance, you should consider a few factors about your EOC rounds.
First, identify who should conduct rounds. Generally, qualified leadership members should do EOC rounds. Additionally, be sure to ensure that your rounds include each area on a regular basis. A great way to ensure that your rounds pass environment of care audits is to stagger focus areas. This can help make sure that it all gets done according to standards. Also, if you’re short staffed, this doesn’t mean your facility can stop conducting EOC rounds. However, one solution for this issue is to hire a knowledgeable company to do your rounds for you. This is a great option even before your healthcare facility audit, as pre-accreditation surveyors can help you identify noncompliant areas and solve issues before your accreditation survey begins.
At Healthcare Life Safety Services, we are a leading healthcare compliance adviser that can help your facility achieve healthcare accreditation. Our teams have extensive knowledge of healthcare regulatory compliance standards and can help you identify areas of improvement before your accreditation survey. We provide low-stress solutions to help you become compliant. Call us today at (281) 598-1359 for more information or to request a free estimate for your healthcare facility. We look forward to the opportunity to help you attain healthcare compliance.