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Are You Ready for EC.02.05.02?

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Prepare Your Facility Water System to Align With the 2022 Joint Commission Standards

The start of a new year brings change, and 2022 will bring significant changes to those seeking Joint Commission accreditation and for those who want to continue to keep their facility accredited. In 2022, Joint Commission surveyors will be looking for additional requirements and evidence in relation to water management programs for hospitals, critical access hospitals and nursing care centers.

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The new water management standard: EC.02.05.02, Eps 1 through 4 will take effect January 1, 2022. The EPs prior to 2022 addressed the need for organizations to minimize pathogenic biological agents in cooling towers, domestic hot and cold-water systems and other aerosolizing water systems. 

 

Organizations who have previously been Joint Commission accredited should already have the following:

  1. a risk assessment,
  2. water management plan,
  3. testing protocols with acceptable ranges

As 2022 approaches, there is a great need for more specific requirements related to a water management program. The new standard and EPs are designed to further improve the quality and safety of care provided to hospital patients and nursing care residents who are immunocompromised. This new standard incorporates the latest research and best practices with the primary goal of improving quality and safety in these settings. 

This need was fostered due to:

  1. The complex distribution pathways with areas of stagnation in health care water systems
  2. The exposure to a variety of plumbing materials in health care water systems
  3. The wide variability in temperature, pH, and disinfectant types and levels

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These conditions can promote the development of biofilms and opportunistic pathogens such as Legionella, Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), and Pseudomonas species. Many treated in healthcare facilities have conditions that put them at greater risk of getting sick and dying from these pathogens. Continued investigations by the CDC show most problems leading to health care-associated outbreaks could have been prevented with effective water management programs.

 

The new elements of performance require that an individual or team be responsible for the oversight and implementation of the water management program, including but not limited to:

  1. Water management plan development,

  2. Actual management of the plan developed, and

  3. Fulfilled and thoroughly documented maintenance activities.

The experts at IWC Innovations that develop defensible water management plans and programs all across the country are ready to help you and your facility keep your Joint Commission accreditation or help you obtain that certification.

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Ready to begin the process of updating or establishing a water management program including a water management plan?  Contact IWC’s experts with questions or to receive a quote.

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We will continue our blog series on the Joint Commission EC.02.05.02 in early January and will advise you on what surveyors will be asking for when visiting your facility.  Will you be ready?