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Involve leadership in solving your corridor clutter

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September 1, 2010

When standard LS.02.01.20 showed up again in The Joint Commission’s list of top five problem standards, there was consensus about the major problem: corridor clutter.

If your hospital has been struggling with this problem without any resolution, it may be time to get leadership involved, says Brad Keyes, CHCP, a life safety consultant at The Greeley Company, a division of HCPro, Inc., in Marblehead, MA, and a former Joint Commission Life Safety Code® surveyor.

LS.02.01.20, which was No. 3 on the list of most cited standards in 2009 surveys with 46% of hospitals surveyed noncompliant, requires facilities to maintain the integrity of the means of egress.

Element of performance (EP) 13 requires that exits remain clear of obstructions. However, surveyors frequently find equipment in corridors—everything from computers on wheels to food carts and IV poles.

“This is not a nursing problem. This is not a facility’s problem. It is a leadership problem,” Keyes says. “Leadership is required by the standards to provide adequate space and resources for the staff to do their job. If you have a chronic problem across the hospital where there is not adequate space to store equipment, that is a leadership problem.”

During your survey, The Joint Commission should identify it as a deficiency, he says. Then leadership needs to come up with a solution.

When standard LS.02.01.20 showed up again in The Joint Commission’s list of top five problem standards, there was consensus about the major problem: corridor clutter.



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