This week The Joint Commission (“TJC”) announced new requirements that are effective immediately and require suites to have aisles with at least “36 inches of clearance from side to side to facilitate egress.”  The standard aligns with the National Fire Protection Association’s (FPA) Life Safety Code and is applicable to hospitals accredited by TJC and critical access hospitals, but also “may apply to behavioral health care and human services organizations, facility-based hospice facilities, and nursing care centers.”

Surveyors will score the finding at Life Safety Standard LS.02.01.20, element of performance 42. This provision addresses the integrity of the means of egress.

Because this standard is effective immediately, facilities should confirm compliance with the requirement and be prepared to address and remedy any noncompliance existing at the time of their next survey.

Norton Rose Fulbright attorneys will continue to follow updates from The Joint Commission.