Get ready for the new Joint Commission Safety Briefing that becomes a part of the survey agenda in January 2023. This briefing will be a requirement for all accreditation programs, including Hospital and Behavioral Health Care & Human Services.
Joint Commission Safety Briefing: What’s it All About?
The background on this new Safety Briefing is an acknowledgement of the increasing incidence of unrest and violence in communities across our country. The purpose of the briefing is to inform your Joint Commission surveyors about any potential safety concerns you’re aware of. Furthermore, it’s to advise them about how they should respond if such an event occurs and you implement your Safety Plan.
The Joint Commission Safety Briefing will not be a separate item on your survey agenda. Rather, you should incorporate it into the Surveyor Arrival Session which takes place on the morning of Day 1. (For full details on the survey process, be sure to consult the 2022 TJC Survey Activity Guide.)
Joint Commission Safety Briefing: What to Include
TJC advises that the Safety Briefing should take no more than five minutes. It’s an informal session and should take place with the surveyors in their conference room soon after their arrival.
The briefing should include any potential safety concerns and any associated response activities the surveyors should be aware of while they’re on site. For example,
- Fire, smoke, or other emergencies
- Workplace violence (including active shooter scenarios)
- Any specific issues the organization is aware of such as civil unrest, labor actions, etc. that surveyors might encounter
- How surveyors should respond
To be prepared for the new Joint Commission Safety Briefing, we recommend the following steps. First, decide in your Leadership Team what types of events to cover in the briefing. Be sure to update this as new potential safety issues arise in your community.
Next, develop a short handout you can give to the surveyors when you do the Safety Briefing. This will give them a reference document to use if the need arises.
Last, decide who will give the Safety Briefing to the surveyors. We recommend a member of your senior leadership team.
Also, be sure to keep the Safety Briefing just that: brief – no more than five minutes. Surveyors have a lot to cover that first morning. They’ll appreciate your respect for their time.
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As always, we’re prepared to support your ongoing survey readiness and best practices for regulatory compliance.