The Joint Commission announces updates to its emergency management requirements, effective November 15, 2017. These updates align with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)’s final rule on emergency preparedness to ensure healthcare professionals and suppliers would meet the needs of patients, residents, clients, and communities during and in the aftermath of emergency events such as wildfires, hurricanes, and active shooters that have affected U.S. hospitals and healthcare organizations.

The updated standards will help healthcare organizations more effectively plan for disasters and coordinate with federal, state, tribal, regional, and local emergency preparedness systems. The standards apply to deemed status surveys for hospital, critical access hospital, ambulatory, home health and hospice settings.

John Maurer, Department of Engineering of The Joint Commission stated that the updated standards will show a renewed focus on continuity of operations, integration with community and regional emergency planning, and leadership engagement.

What will the New Elements of Performance Focus On?

The EPs address key areas in planning and response, including:

  • Continuity of operations and succession plans
  • Documentation of collaboration with emergency management officials
  • Contact information on volunteers and tribal groups
  • Annual training of all new/existing staff, contractors and volunteers
  • Integrated healthcare systems

The updated standards reflect new EPs as well as existing EPs revised for additional specificity.

How to Implement the New Requirements

“Health care organizations should review the new EPs, build on processes already in place, partner with other health care organizations, collaborate with community and regional leaders, and brush up on essential standards and guideline,” says Maurer.

You can access the updated standards by healthcare setting by visiting The Joint Commission website.


If you need helping implementing these new requirements, contact Compass.