Now in effect, Joint Commission Life Safety Code surveyors will cite noncompliance in suites with aisles that have less than 36 inches of clearance from side to side to facilitate egress, according to a news release from The Joint Commission. This could affect placement of equipment and the size of equipment that will fit in a hospital suite.

This requirement follows the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Life Safety Code (NFPA 101–2012), Section, in the core chapter on egress, which sets the minimum width of any means of egress at 36 inches in all facilities or portions of facilities classified as healthcare occupancy.

This requirement applies to Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals that use the suite provisions of the code and, depending on their building occupancy classification, may apply to behavioral healthcare and human services organizations, facility-based hospice facilities, and nursing care centers.

The finding will be scored at Life Safety (LS) Standard LS.02.01.20, element of performance (EP) 42, which requires organizations to maintain the integrity of the means of egress in accordance with the Life Safety Code.