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Joint Commission updates look of Leading Practice Library

In mid-April, The Joint Commission updated its Leading Practice Library (LPL) to a more user-friendly interface. The LPL is full of real-life solutions to healthcare problems, all of which have been reviewed and approved by The Joint Commission. Users can browse the LPL by specific topics and all the documents are cross-referenced with Joint Commission manuals.

The changes include:

  • More refined search options including program, chapter, location, and organization size.
  • The ability to create your own personal library of “favorited” practices and documents.
  • A faster, simpler, and less technical submission process.
  • New help guides in both written and video formats.

The LPL is available to Joint Commission accredited or certified organizations for free on their secure extranet.

Joint Commission to delete 131 hospital program requirements

The Joint Commission announced plans to delete 131 standards and Elements of Performance from its hospital program requirements. The accreditor released a prepublication list of all the requirements, along with the rationale behind deleting each one. The deletions go into effect on July 1, 2016 and are part of an effort to improve the accreditation process.

Click here to see the list of all the hospital program standards that will be deleted. 

Joint Commission redesigns standards FAQs

After listening to feedback from clients and readers, the Joint Commission has updated its standards FAQ format. The accreditor uses its FAQs to clarify common patient safety and healthcare quality questions and the new design is intended to help users find important information quickly and easily.

The highest-rated FAQs will now be listed by chapter and there will only be one question and answer per FAQ. As part of the new changes, site users can now:

  • Filter search results by manual, chapter, or keyword.
  • See new and featured FAQs for two weeks.
  • Print out individual FAQs, or by chapter or manual.
  • Vote thumbs up or down on FAQs
  • Submit comments about individual FAQs

The Joint Commission encourages users to look at existing FAQs before sending in a question of their own, in case it’s already been answered.

Petitions ask Joint Commission and CMS to change pain management policies

More than 60 medical experts and nonprofit organizations sent petitions this week to The Joint Commission and CMS asking for changes in their respective pain management policies. The petitions say that making physicians routinely ask patients about their pain level encourages excessive prescriptions of opioids.

“Mandating routine pain assessments for all patients in all settings is unwarranted and can lead to overtreatment and overuse of opioid analgesics,” they wrote to The Joint Commission. “Healthcare professionals are capable of using their clinical judgment to determine when to assess patients for pain.”

Specifically, petitioners are asking for changes to The Joint Commission standards PC.01.02.07, PC.01.02.01, and RI.01.01.01 and for CMS to remove pain treatment questions from its Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey.

The petitions were headed by the Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing and are co-signed by the heads of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, the National Women’s Health Network, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and health commissioners from Vermont, Pennsylvania, Alaska, and Rhode Island.

Worries about proposed CT certification changes

Since The Joint Commission released its prepublication standards for diagnostic imaging requirements, the accreditor says several customers have expressed concerns over the new minimum qualifications for computed tomography (CT) technologists. The concerns were about Note No. 1 of HR.01.02.05, Element of Performance 19, which would require all CT technologists have advanced-level CT certification.

The standards will go into effect on September 1 and The Joint Commission noted that all standards would be open to public comment before they’re finalized. The accreditor also said that it will do further research on the new CT certification requirements before the 2018 deadline.

Joint Commission changes to Comprehensive Stroke Measure Set

This year, The Joint Commission will not collect any data on the Comprehensive Stroke (CSTK) measure CSTK-07: Median Time to Revasculation. One of eight measures aimed at treating ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients, CSTK-07 was suspended because of difficulties collecting data on the date and time of the first usage of a clot removal device on a patient. The measure is undergoing a review that will determine whether it will be reinstated.

Meanwhile, a new CSTK measure is expected to go into effect on January 1, 2017, although details haven’t been released yet. The Joint Commission will be announcing the measure specifications on its “Specifications Manual for Joint Commission National Quality Measures” webpage.


New 2017 National Patient Safety Goal focuses on CAUTI prevention

The Joint Commission today announced plans for a new National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) aimed at reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). The prepublication standards for the NPSG are online and cover standards for accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals, and nursing care centers. The NPSG is intended to align CAUTI treatment and prevention with the updated “Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014.”

The NPSG goes into effect on January 1, 2017.

New Diagnostic Imaging Services standards released

The Joint Commission has just released new prepublication standards for any facilities with diagnostic imaging services. The requirements address the minimum qualifications needed for personnel to conduct diagnostic computed tomography exams. The changes will be released in print on July 1 but won’t go into effect until September 1.

Joint Commission now taking applications for Patient Blood Management Certification

Healthcare facilities that conduct blood transfusions can now apply for The Joint Commission’s new Patient Blood Management Certification program. The program was developed with the AABB, an international association focusing on cellular therapies, transfusion medicine, and blood management. The certification is based on the AABB’s Standards for a Blood Management Program and is aimed at educating hospitals on the benefits of an evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach to the transfusion decision-making process.

For more on the certification, click here.

Joint Commission unveils new prepublication standards for substance abuse, palliative care

The Joint Commission has released two sets of prepublication standards on its website. The first is for a new certification option on community-based palliative care (CBPC) for home health and hospice care facilities. Home health and hospice facilities already accredited by the Joint Commission will be able to receive CBPC certification for providing a community-based palliative care program.

The second set of standards is an update on the substance abuse and mental health services administration (SAMHSA) guidelines for accredited opioid treatment programs.

Both standards go into effect on July 1.