Selected products added to your list. To view the list, Click here

NFPA 99: Understanding The Health Care Facilities Code

Hospital Equipment

Don’t risk confusion or mistakes that could impact patient, staff, and facility safety!

With a shift to a risk-vs. occupancy-based approach and other major changes you're bound to have questions about the 2012 NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code. Not correctly understanding the code can lead to major implications to your facility, especially when it comes to your electrical infrastructure. Additionally, changes from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS) and the Joint Commission may have added even more confusion.

Change is good for the NFPA!

Some high level changes included in NFPA 99, 2012 include:

  • Re-classification of NFPA 99, 2012 as a Code vs. a Standard
  • Moving to a Risk-Based Approach for Building Systems and Patient Care Rooms
  • Adding chapters for relevant technology
  • Removing/modifying items addressed by other standards
  • Patient care related electrical equipment construction and performance requirements
  • Removing technology which no longer applies
  • Organizing material for easier navigation through the code document
NFPA 99 Code Book Cover
Intensive Care Unit Hospital Room

Code vs. Standard

NFPA 99, 2012 is now titled, "Health Care Facilities Code", it was previously titled, "The Standard for Health Care Facilities". Now there are many benefits that follow the change in title and document structure, including the following:

  • Helping promote usage and enforcement at the greatest number of facilities
    Easier for an AHJ to interpret the code and then enforce it

Risk- vs. Occupancy-Based Approach

A major change in NFPA 99, 2012 includes the shift to a risk-vs. occupancy-based approach. Traditional healthcare was commonly delivered through facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, and limited care facilities. Now, medical procedures have migrated from the Hospital to Ambulatory Care Centers to Physician Offices. While the locations for these procedures are changing, the procedures aren't changing and the risks associated with those procedures aren't changing.

With these changes, code requirements are now determined by the risks associated with the procedures performed instead of a building occupancy type. And what does this mean for NFPA 99? Instead of categorizing each facility by Occupancy Type and then stating code requirements by occupancy type, NFPA 99 now defines risk categories and you assign a risk category to each facility system based upon the types of procedures that system supports.

This means we aren't defining requirements based upon the building category. Instead we are concerned about the level of risk to the patient and the caregiver if that facility system is no longer available regardless of the building category or type. It is important to note that this new risk-based approach is not limited to facility systems. It is being applied to both facility systems and patient care rooms.

Occupancy Type vs Category of Risk Comparison
busy hospital hallway

What other changes occurred in NFPA99, 2012?

The content on the above panels is just a quick summary of some of the changes incorporated in 2012 NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code. To learn more about the code changes mentioned and get answers to any additional questions you might have, please fill out the request form at the link below and a Leviton representative will contact you shortly.

Energy Management Codes

Take the guesswork out of code compliance with our IECC, ASHRAE 90.1 and Title 24 portals.

Onsite Training

Interested in having our certified professionals train members of your team on the latest Codes and Standards?