Are Hospital Facility Managers Prepared For Virtual Surveys?

During a webinar presented by ARC Facilities, half of attendees indicated they are not prepared for virtual document review sessions by hospital accreditation surveyors including The Joint Commission.

ARC Facilities recently released the results of a survey conducted during a webcast about healthcare compliance documentation, a growing area of concern among hospital facility management because of its complexity. Attended by senior level directors of facilities, engineering, compliance, and education, the presentation focused on:

  • Organization of documents for a regulatory review session
  • Transitioning to a paper-free environment where all compliance documentation and data is instantly accessible on a mobile device
  • Overcoming the challenges of updating/organizing regulatory binders and documentation


A survey conducted during the webinar discussion revealed:

  • 50% of attendees are not prepared at all for virtual document review sessions conducted by hospital accreditation surveyors including The Joint Commission
  • 33% of attendees said that preparing for virtual surveys would take a lot of work, but they could do it
  • 8% of attendees said they would be mostly prepared, but it would take some work
  • 8% of attendees said that preparing for a virtual survey would be no problem because all their files are digital and organized

“Surveys are done in person for document review and inspections where hundreds of codes and related documentation are reviewed to ensure compliance. The pandemic is compelling us to look for alternatives such as experimenting with virtual surveys.” said Suri Suriyakumar, CEO of ARC Facilities, who co-led the webinar with Dennis Ford of Atrium Health.

According to Ford, who handles corporate support services, plant operations & management at Atrium Health, there are several administrative bottle necks associated with binders. While binders are pretty much the standard at hospitals, the organizing and updating process slows down when a system of multiple hospitals are surveyed under the same license and must follow the same policies and procedures. When one binder is updated, all must be updated at each individual hospital.

While accreditation surveyors arrive on-site to perform regulatory audits, facility management must be prepared to share hundreds of pages of compliance documentation reflecting Environment of Care, Life Safety and Emergency Management standards. These documents, typically stored in three-ring binders, contain Inspection, Testing and Maintenance (ITM) reports.

Surveyors are impressed when proper documentation is provided quickly and is associated with each regulatory requirement. If anything is missing, out-of-place or does not contain required information, then the survey may begin with findings, which will set the tone for the rest of the visit.

On Tuesday, November 10 at 1pmET, Facility Executive will present a webinar with ARC Facilities: “What’s Missing From Your Facility Management Software?” Dennis Ford of Atrium Health will be speaking on the topic with the ARC Facilities team. Click here to learn more and to register today.