Survey Analysis for Evaluating Risk (SAFER) Matrix FAQs

The Survey Analysis for Evaluating Risk® (SAFER™) Matrix is a transformative approach for identifying and communicating risk levels cited during surveys. The SAFER Matrix provides one, comprehensive visual representation of survey findings to help organizations prioritize and focus corrective actions by measuring the likelihood to harm and scope for each finding.

SAFER became part of the accreditation process for all Hospital and Academic Medical Center surveys starting 5 April 2020. All other accreditation programs, including, Ambulatory Care, Home Care, Laboratories, Long Term Care, Medical Transport Organizations, and Primary Care Centers will begin seeing SAFER as part of the survey process 4 October 2020.

SAFER applies to all hospital and academic medical center accreditation surveys for all survey types, including:

  • Initial surveys.
  • Full surveys.
  • Follow up surveys.
  • Extension surveys.
  • For-cause surveys.

There are not additional compliance requirements related to SAFER. The matrix is intended to provide one visual representation of survey findings at an aggregate level so that organizations can easily identify findings with higher risk and need for widespread initiatives.

SAFER will not impact accreditation decision rules. The matrix is intended to provide one visual representation of survey findings at an aggregate level so that organizations can easily identify findings with higher risk and need for widespread initiatives.

No. SAFER is included as part of the accreditation process as part of JCI’s focus to provide its accredited organizations with an on-site and post-survey experience that allows the organization to see areas of noncompliance at an aggregate level.

The final SAFER Matrix visual is not driving any accreditation decisions. Final accreditation decisions are being made through the same decision process that we’ve used historically and outlined in the survey manual. SAFER is not driving decision rules. It is meant to be a visual representation of your survey findings as they relate to risk.

Requests for changes in the survey findings report can still be made, however placement of findings on a SAFER Matrix cannot be changed.

Visit the accreditation page for more information on SAFER.

Accreditation

Email the below mailbox for more information.

By focusing on the High Likelihood to Harm/Widespread Scope first, and transitioning to the low/limited last. The SAFER Matrix is a visual representation of survey findings. It provides organizations with information to prioritize resources and focus strategic improvement plans in areas that are most in need of compliance activities and interventions.

The Operational Definitions provided in the SAFER Education give definitions of the Limited, Pattern, and Widespread Scope; and the Low, Moderate, and High Likelihood to Harm, as well as further guidance. In addition, each program has a set of "anchors" that are examples of findings assigned a SAFER score and the rationale for that score. Please refer to these operational definitions and "anchors" to reduce subjectivity in SAFER Matrix placement.

SAFER will determine the need for a SIP. SIPS are required for all findings in the high level and not met findings in moderate/pattern and moderate/widespread.