Updated: May 19
A Closer Look at Joint Commission Nursing Care Center Standards:
EC.02.05.02- The organization has a water management program that addresses Legionella and other waterborne pathogens.
The new standards implemented January 1, 2022 are designed to focus on immunocompromised patients/residents. The Joint Commission has used expert literature to determine the need for additional standards related to the water management program. This methodology has been supported by the Standards Review Panel assembled by The Joint Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Senior Living Facilities often have areas of stagnant water with various PH levels and temperatures. These conditions, overtime, can develop into Legionella and other waterborne pathogens. Exposure to this water while in a senior living facility enhances the risk of an outbreak or an infection from the waterborne pathogens.
The enhanced standards ensure there is oversight of implementation, management and maintenance of the program. As the organization is creating their water management plan, they will need a diagram mapping all water sources along with a water infection risk assessment. This risk assessment will be reviewed for re-approval on an annual basis. Additionally, the organizations must have a plan for addressing the use of water in stagnant locations, along with monitoring protocol and acceptable ranges for the water testing for control measure.
Reference: New Standard for Water Management Program
Kristin Bratcher, MSW is Vice President of Achieve Accreditation. Achieve Accreditation has helped skilled nursing providers and assisted living organizations to obtain and maintain their Joint Commission Accreditation for over 30 years.