Environment of Care
The goal of this chapter is to promote a safe, functional, and supportive environment within the organization so that quality and safety are preserved. The environment of care is made up of the following three basic elements:
- The building or space, including how it is arranged and special features that protect patients, visitors, and staff
- Equipment used to support patient care or to safely operate the building or space
- People, including those who work within the organization, patients, and anyone else who enters the environment, all of whom have a role in minimizing risks
This chapter stresses the importance of managing risks in the environment of care, which are different from the risks associated with the provision of care, treatment, or services. Any organization, regardless of its size or location, faces risks in the environment, including those associated with safety and security, fire, hazardous materials and waste, medical equipment, and utility systems. When staff are educated about the elements of a safe environment, they are more likely to follow processes for identifying, reporting, and taking action on environmental risks."Environment of Care." Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Ambulatory Care (CAMAC). The Joint Commission.