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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.

Joint Commission approves new behavioral standards for eating disorders and housing support services

The Joint Commission recently posted new behavioral facility standards for both outpatient and residential eating disorder programs as well as permanent housing support services standards.

The permanent housing support services standards are aimed at helping people with major mental illnesses, substance abuse issues, and other behavioral health issues get steady housing and care. The requirements for eating disorders address issues such as assessments, transitions of care and supervision of patients in eating disorder programs. Both sets of requirements will appear in the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Behavioral Health Care Organizations (CAMBHC) and will go into effect on July 2016.

The Joint Commission also approved program requirements for total hip and total knee replacement advanced certification which will go into effect in March 2016. 

Joint Commission releases revisions to Patient Safety Systems chapter

The Joint Commission this week released revisions to its Patient Safety Systems (PS) chapter for 2016. The chapter, which first went into effect in January 2015, highlights the accreditor’s patient safety requirements.

The PS chapter explains how to become a learning organization, the role of hospital leaders in patient safety, use of data and reporting systems, conducting proactive risk assessments, and patient involvement.

In other news, The Joint Commission is creating a new set of measures for its advanced certification program for palliative care. Volunteer hospitals will be testing the measures until the end of January, with the finalized measures to be released mid-2016.

Click here to see the six draft measures.

Deadline for December webcast fast approaching; Learning about survey hot spots for 2016

There’s still time to join the December webcast on CMS and Joint Commission hot spots for 2016.

Join Bud Pate, REHS, and Lisa Eddy, RN, CPHQ, on Wednesday, December 16 at 1 p.m. ET as they examine current survey focuses and point out where CMS and The Joint Commission will concentrate their efforts during your next survey.

In just 90 minutes, find out how to prepare for your next accreditation survey and comply with the most troublesome CMS and Joint Commission requirements. Pate and Eddy will provide strategies for preparing your staff for survey and give you valuable tips about what surveyors will expect when they arrive at your facility.

For more information and to register for the webcast, call HCPro customer service at 800-650-6787 or visit the HCPro Marketplace.

New Sentinel Event Alert focuses on patient falls prevention

Sentinel Event Alert (SEA) #55, issued by The Joint Commission today, urges healthcare facilities to take action to prevent falls and fall-related injuries.

Falls are routinely in the top 10 sentinel events reported to The Joint Commission each year. The most common causes of falls or fall-related injuries, include poor patient assessment, lack of communication, failure to follow healthcare facility protocols and safety practices, and the absence of strong leadership, according to the SEA.

The Joint Commission recommends the following actions under the command of a strong leadership:

  • Raise awareness of the need to prevent falls
  • Create an interdisciplinary falls injury prevention team
  • Implement a standardized tool to assess possible fall risks
  • Develop patient-specific plans of care based on possible fall and injury risks
  • Create standardized practices and interventions for healthcare professionals and patients
  • Perform a root cause analysis after a fall

Read the SEA for further information on The Joint Commission’s recommendations to prevent falls and fall-related injuries.

Joint Commission launches leadership module on Physical Environment portal

The Joint Commission posted the leadership portion of the management of utility systems (EC.02.05.01) on its Physical Environment portal earlier this week. The first part of the module discussed the impact noncompliance of utility systems has on patient care safety.

The next modules to be released on the portal, in October and November, will cover maintenance of egress integrity (LS.02.01.20) and management of hazardous materials and waste risks (EC.02.02.01).

The Joint Commission and American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) launched the portal in July to provide hospitals with online resources and tools to comply with the most challenging Life Safety (LS) and Environment of Care (EC) standards.

Visit the Physical Environment Portal.

Joint Commission seeks comments on proposed changes to National Patient Safety Goal on Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections

The Joint Commission is calling for comments on proposed changes to existing NPSG.07.06.01 on Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI). The proposed changes including educating, patients and their families on the importance of preventing CAUTI. Additional proposed changes include requiring consistent documentation methods for indwelling catheter use.

The Joint Commission is also seeking comments on this NPSG for nursing care centers. This is a new NPSG for those facilities.

The comment period for both ends on October 14.

Read more about the proposed changes here.

I saw Mommy kissing the senior engineer…

Editor’s note: My colleague Steve MacArthur, an expert on accreditation standards related to hospital safety, emergency management, and life safety, wrote about recent mid-term release of The Joint Commission’s Survey Activity Guide.

Late last week, The Joint Commission provided information regarding the mid-term edition of this year’s Survey Activity Guide (SAG—and no, I will not make any gratuitous remarks about that particular acronymic confluence…), which includes “new description for Facility Orientation-Life Safety Surveyor and minor revisions to Environment of Care Session and Life Safety Building Tour for hospitals and critical access hospitals.”

While the minor revisions to the Environment of Care session and Life Safety building tour are indeed just that (with one exception that you already know about—more in a moment), it appears that Santa Mills has left us a nice little package under the Christmas in July tree: a new Life Safety and Environment of Care Document List and Review Tool (just think, kids—now you can survey like a real surveyor!). While I jest a wee bit (jester that I am), I do think that this is a pretty useful thing for the good folks in Chicago to be sharing. I think you’ll find the tool may give you a sense of “what” they’re looking for in terms of documentation; it also contains a nifty little typographical error. Let’s see who has the eagle eyes out there in radioland…

The one change that is a little more than minor (if only for its far-reaching consequences in surveys the past 18 months) is the instruction for surveyors to assess operating rooms for proper pressure relationships.

Continue reading this post at Mac’s Safety Space.

The Joint Commission updates FAQ section

In case you missed it, The Joint Commission added a new frequently asked question (FAQ) and updated 19 existing FAQs last week. The new question tackles the issue of physician texting medical records.

You can read the updates here.