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Successfully Managing Ambulatory Surgical Centers to Meet Joint Commission Accreditation

At McWhirter, our healthcare property management team knows the intricacies of maintaining building operations in medical offices, hospitals, and campuses. Yet among all these, ambulatory surgery centers are the most rigorous due to the regulatory and accreditation requirements governed by the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare. Due to the sensitivity of medical procedures, The Joint Commission sets regulations that exceed regulations for non-medical office buildings.

“Meeting The Joint Commission’s requirements is a lot of work that comes with a lot of documentation and preparation. We make it easier on our clients because of our knowledge of the standards, the areas that are often flagged, and suggest processes to proactively put in place to help the accreditation process,” said Greer Hughes, Vice President, Property Management for McWhirter.

Three areas of inspection that adhere to more stringent guidelines than non-medical buildings are: 

Fire Inspections: Typically, buildings complete annual fire inspections but ASCs require quarterly inspections and an annual fire drill. Scheduling the drills is sensitive to the patient schedules and must be coordinated with the fire inspection company, fire department, tenants, and building engineers. 

Ingress and Egress: Accessibility is crucial for an ASC to ensure the safety of patients before and after surgery. Wheelchair-accessible doors, ramps, and drive-up patient access areas are necessary for an ASC. Understanding The Joint Commission requirements ensure that new construction buildings meet requirements and guide necessary renovations for leased buildings to be compatible.

HVAC: Indoor air quality, indoor environmental quality, and other factors make HVAC systems a high priority at ASCs. The codes required for temperature, static pressure, humidity, and filtration systems are imperative to maintain safe operating procedures for surgical centers. Test and balance practices are required often, and procedures must be in place to maintain patient procedures without compromising safety should an outage or system failure occur.

Do you need a knowledgeable property manager to help your ambulatory surgery center achieve accreditation so you can focus on your patients instead of the building? Call McWhirter today to speak to our property management team.

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