Environment of Care
The environment of care in a healthcare organization consists of three elements:
- The building or space, including how it is arranged and specific features to protect patients, staff and visitors.
- Equipment used to support quality patient care or to safely operate the building or space.
- Patient, staff, visitors and anyone else who enters the organization, all of whom have a role in minimizing risks.
Any healthcare organization, regardless of its size or location, faces risks in the environment of care area. Environmental risks occur in many areas, including safety and security, fire, infection control, hazardous materials and waste management, medical equipment management and utility systems management. Having standardized, hardwired best practices and processes in place can decrease environment of care risks and help your organization remain prepared for a regulatory survey. The resources available in this toolkit include tactics to proactively minimize risks to patients, staff and visitors from known hazards or risks that may exist in the physical environment or activities connected to its operations and/or properties.