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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 18-609



Adoption of the 2018 Editions of the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Guidelines for Design and Construction of Outpatient Facilities

[48 Pa.B. 2347]
[Saturday, April 21, 2018]

 Under its authority under the Health Care Facilities Act (act) (35 P.S. §§ 448.101—448.904b) and the hospital and ambulatory surgical facility regulations promulgated under the act, the Department of Health (Department) will adopt the 2018 edition of the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Guidelines for Design and Construction of Outpatient Facilities (Guidelines) effective November 1, 2018. As of November 1, 2018, the Department will apply these new requirements to all plans for new construction or renovations for hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities.

 The Department currently applies the 2014 edition of the Guidelines for all new construction, renovations or modernization of hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities. The 2014 edition of the Guidelines will continue to be utilized through November 1, 2018.

 While the mandatory usage of the new Guidelines will not occur until November 1, 2018, the Department has received inquiries regarding whether facilities may use the 2018 Guidelines before that date. The Department will permit facilities to use the 2018 Guidelines starting May 1, 2018. Thus, from May 1, 2018, until October 31, 2018, facilities may elect to use either the 2014 Guidelines or the 2018 Guidelines. After November 1, 2018, all facilities must use the 2018 Guidelines. The Department recommends that smaller renovation projects or new additions be designed and submitted for approval based on compliance with the 2018 edition of the Guidelines as soon as possible after May 1, 2018. Although it is still permissible to utilize the 2014 edition of the Guidelines until November 1, 2018, it would be prudent to utilize the 2018 edition of the Guidelines. Larger or more complicated projects should be designed in conformance with the new Guidelines. All final plan approvals issued after November 1, 2018, will be based upon conformance with the 2018 edition of the Guidelines, regardless of when the preliminary plans were submitted.

 The established procedure requires the submission of construction plans and the issuance of a final construction plan approval by the Division of Safety Inspection (Division) prior to the start of any new construction, renovation, modernization or changes in usage. Blueprints are to be submitted to the Division and are reviewed for compliance with the NFPA 101, Life Safety Code and the requirements in the Guidelines. The plan approval function is a requirement to insure that all new construction or renovations comply with all applicable regulations to avoid building noncompliant conditions into hospitals or ambulatory surgical buildings, which would necessitate costly remedial work to correct prior to the Department allowing the renovated area to be occupied.

 After construction has been completed, a final inspection must be conducted for Life Safety Code requirements by the Division and for State Licensure or Federal Certification requirements, or both, by the Division of Acute and Ambulatory Care.

 Those persons interested in purchasing a copy of the 2018 edition of the Guidelines may contact the Facility Guidelines Institute at (800) 798-9296 or

 For more information or persons with a disability who require an alternative format of this notice (for example, large print, audiotape, Braille) contact Charles A. Schlegel, Director, Division of Safety Inspection, Department of Health, 2150 Herr Street, 1st Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17103, (717) 787-1911, or for speech and/or hearing impaired persons, call the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users).


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 18-609. Filed for public inspection April 20, 2018, 9:00 a.m.]

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