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Why does The Joint Commission care about room pressurization?

April 17, 2017

Postive Pressure Operating Room The Joint Commission (TJC) is a non-profit organization that evaluates and accredits healthcare organizations in the United States, ensuring that hospitals and other medical facilities are providing safe and high-quality care to their patients. Inspections occur every three years and take between 2 to 3 days. In most jurisdictions, Medicare and Medicaid funding is contingent on accreditation by TJC.

One of the most important standards scored in a Joint Commission evaluation is room pressurization (EC.02.05.01). According to ASHRAE Standard 170 (used specifically by TJC as its standard), over 60 different areas of concern within a facility need to be either positively or negatively pressured. Pressurization in these spaces is tested simply by holding a tissue at the bottom of a door and determining whether the tissue is blown back away or sucked towards the gap.

Positive Pressure

Rooms that are positively pressured are designed to control airborne contaminants by forcing them outside of the space in question – keeping the “bad stuff” out. Theses spaces include:

  • Operating/procedure rooms
  • Delivery rooms and newborn intensive care
  • Trauma rooms
  • Sterile processing
  • Sterile supply storage
  • Clean linen storage
  • Pharmacies

Negative Pressure

Rooms that are positively pressured are designed to control airborne contaminants by forcing them inside of the space in question – keeping the “bad stuff” in. Theses spaces include:

  • Airborne infectious isolation rooms (AIIR)
  • Emergency rooms and triage areas
  • Hazardous material storage
  • Soiled Linens
  • Endoscope cleaning

Being able to effectively display differential pressure in these spaces is imperative during TJC inspections, but more importantly it’s critical for patient and employee safety. As regulatory drivers continue to improve patient safety, the technology within health care facilities across the country needs to keep up. Pressure sensing solutions that are accurate and reliable have never been more valuable.

By future-proofing your facility and staying ahead of regulatory bodies like The Joint Commission, you have the opportunity to save valuable time and money better spent on improving patient health.

CLICK HERE to learn why your current air flow indicator may not be good enough for a TJC inspection.

Topics: Critical Environments, HVAC/R