Did you know that almost every type of behavioral healthcare facility has certain environmental risk factors that could potentially affect the safety of patients, staff, and visitors? Are you conducting risk assessments to maintain a safe environment of care? By establishing an Environment of Care (EOC) program, a behavioral healthcare facility can mitigate these risk factors and be able to train their staff on identifying and preventing environmental risks. Developing an EOC policy and corresponding procedures will not only assist in training staff and fostering a positive and safe environment, but it is also an accreditation requirement for Joint Commission Accreditation! Into Action Consulting, Inc. has spent thousands of hours reviewing, developing, and implementing Environment of Care policies and procedures that mitigate risks, and improve resident care. We can help you and your facility develop these.
When operating a behavioral healthcare facility out of a residential home or commercial office, most organizations tend to overlook environmental risks associated with the facility due to it being a home or business environment that, to the plain eye, seems “safe enough”. For example, in 2018 parts of Los Angeles, CA were in flames and mandatory evacuations were ordered. Facilities without an EOC Program and proper protocols for emergency situations were left scrambling because they did not have an Emergency Action Plan that identifies specific primary and secondary locations to evacuate their residents safely and quickly. Even if you try to control every risk factor inside of your facility, you cannot control outside risks, and THAT is why having trained staff and an EOC program that identifies risks and your facilities hazard vulnerability is crucial to operating a successful organization.
Here are a few Joint Commission accreditation requirements for an
Environment of Care Program:
- Performing and documenting preventative maintenance on the facility (electrical equipment testing) and performance inspections on equipment throughout the facility
- Developing a medical equipment management program
- Managing risks related to hazardous materials (i.e. cleaning supplies)
- Completing hazard vulnerability analysis to determine what kind of unforeseen event can affect your facility (i.e. weather, earthquakes, fires, etc.)
- Performing environmental risk assessments of the facility (i.e. poor lighting, ligature points, unauthorized access to secure areas, etc.)
- Identifying an emergency preparedness plan and practicing emergency responses
- Having a fire safety and life safety plan
- Worker safety risk assessment and job hazard analysis
- Disaster and food supply policy
- Vehicle safety and maintenance policy
We know very well that this can be overwhelming at first glance. Luckily, we have a staff of professionals with years of experience that can walk you through the process.
All you have to do is drop a comment below, sign up for our monthly newsletter, or email us with your contact information and someone will promptly set up a phone conversation or schedule an appointment to come out to your facility for a consultation.