Get ready for a new TJC water management standard

The Joint Commission (TJC) is seeking comment on a proposed Environment of Care (EC) standard setting out a set of requirements for a water management program.

Citing concerns about the impact of Legionella on immune-compromised patients, CMS has required hospitals to have a water management plan for more than two years. HFAP issued Legionella specific standards in 2018.

TJC has cited hospitals for water management problems under a single element of performance under EC.02.05.01, which requires hospitals to manage utility risks.

The current EP 14 had a single requirement, to minimize “pathogenic biological agents in cooling towers, domestic hot- and 3 cold-water systems, and other aerosolizing water systems.”

A new EC.02.05.03 specifically requires a water management program, with four EPs that include more than a dozen specific requirements outlining TJC expectations for what that program should include.

The four EPs require team responsible for oversight of the program, sets out what that program should encompass, specifics on how it is managed and monitored, and how the program will continue to be updated.

The new standard and EPs are available for field review on TJC’s website, under the heading Standards, then Field Reviews.

The page includes information how you can comment through an online survey, an online form or submit comments in writing. Comments will be taken through November 16.