On October 12th, ATG presented a Statement of Conditions (SOC) webinar to one of the largest audiences in recent months. Attendees represented leading academic teaching centers and hospitals of all sizes from across the U.S. The professionals who attended – facilities managers, fire safety officers, code compliance officers, and engineers – reflected the widespread interest in finding new solutions to fragmented SOC processes, and ways to address new Joint Commission requirements regarding life safety and Plans for Improvement.
Presenters Joe Mensik and Michael Mostardi, P.E. described SOC Professional, ATG’s Statement of Conditions solution. It helps healthcare organizations meet recent changes in Joint Commission regulations, especially costly short turnaround repairs that can result from the new 60-day window for resolution of life safety deficiencies. SOC Professional also helps meet the requirements of direct accreditation agencies and internal compliance committees. The most effective strategy, they said, is to conduct standard, year-round surveys rather than incremental 18-month evaluations. This approach is considered an industry best practice because it allows hospitals to proactively mitigate risks, and can improve the way an organization handles compliance internally.
Attendees were in agreement that there are two looming SOC challenges:
- Surveying identifies deficiencies, but there isn’t a system in place to tightly control and document successful remediation.
- Deficiencies may be identified and resolved, but there isn’t a system to document this process and prove a comprehensive SOC approach to The Joint Commission.
One attendee said, “If I can identify deficiencies, then I have a reason to go to administration and tell them I need budget dollars to fix them and avoid the high costs of short turnaround repairs. I think that would go a long way toward mitigating deficiency findings when The Joint Commission comes into the building.”
Joe and Mike demonstrated to attendees how SOC Professional essentially provides two solutions in one:
- A proactive life safety assessment process and tool for SOC surveys
- A life safety management asset-based approach vs. a physical environment approach
SOC Professional features include:
- Mobile apps that allow users to record deficiencies directly on floor plans during surveys, with the ability to capture images and add corrective action information
- A cloud-based, shared platform that provides easy visual location of deficiencies shown in real time using color-coded status indicators
- Intelligent lookups that indicate deficiencies, bring up codes, assign deficiencies for remediation, and track them to resolution
- Analytics to support resolution expense and risk management
- Integration with existing work order systems
The webinar emphasized the importance of a single, central SOC solution that leverages technology and effectively manages risk. Said Mike Mostardi, “In an environment where multiple contractors and staff are doing the work, one communication platform acting as a living document can mitigate risk, optimize resources, and make life a lot easier for facility managers.”