Environmental Tours

Q: I have read, or thought I read, that the environmental tours were no longer required with the adoption of the life safety code. Is this correct?

A: No… The NFPA codes and standards referenced by the Life Safety Code never did require environmental tours. When the 2012 Life Safety Code was adopted by CMS (and the accreditation organizations) last year, it made no changes regarding environmental tours because the 2012 LSC does not require it. The 2000 LSC did not require it either. Environmental tours are required… by the accreditation organizations (at least some of them). Joint Commission, HFAP and DNV all require that you evaluate your physical environment on a periodic basis. Some require semi-annually, and some only require annually. CMS does not have any Condition of Participation or standard that specifically requires a periodic tour of the physical environment, although they do require that your physical environment be maintained in a safe manner, which implies a routine inspection would be required to achieve that. So, if you’re accredited by one of the major accreditation organizations, you need to continue to perform environmental tours.