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Joint Commission revamps Quality Check

Originally launched in 1996, The Joint Commission’s Quality Check website gives customers a way to search for accredited and certified organizations. The site can be used to find how many facilities there are in a given area by typing in a state, city, or zip code. Or if one is trying to find out what certifications a specific facility has, they can type its name or Joint Commission ID number.

This month, The Joint Commission announced that it was updating the Quality Check site as part of an ongoing effort to provide “meaningful information about accredited organizations’ performance to the public.” The updated page is easier to navigate and allows customers:

  • To search by services and Doing Business As (DBA) names.
  • Interact with The Joint Commission via its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Vimeo accounts.
  • View overviews of accreditation and certification components using Shareable Quality Reports®
  • Download accreditation and certification data

Visit the updated Quality Check website here.

Joint Commission to elaborate on texting policy in June

The Joint Commission plans to release additional information on its new texting policy next month. The accreditor says that the new guidance will cover how frequently medical orders can be texted, the requirements for read back/text back confirmation, and the difference between text orders that are digitally or manually entered into the electronic health record.

Click here to read the full Accreditation Insider article on the new texting policies. 

Joint Commission announces Pioneers in Quality panel members

The Joint Commission this week selected 13 technical experts to work on its Pioneers in Quality Advisory Panel. The panel was created to help accredited hospitals transition towards the use of electronic clinical quality measures (eCQM). Along with providing support and education to facilities, the panel will also update The Joint Commission on challenges facilities are facing as well as the best methods of using eCQMs to measure and improve the quality of care.

“The combined expertise of this outstanding group will better inform our efforts and benefit hospitals who need real world solutions,” said David Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president of The Joint Commission, in a press release. “We are steadfastly focused on developing viable solutions to the measurement-related issues that hospitals are facing.”

The advisory panel members are:

  • David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president, Healthcare Quality Evaluation, The Joint Commission
  • Jennifer Besch, director, Population Health, Cerner Corporation
  • Zahid Butt, MD, FACG, CEO, Medisolv, Inc.
  • Jayne Hart Chambers, MBA, senior vice president Quality, Federation of American Hospitals
  • Paul Conlon, PharmD, JD, senior vice president, Chief Quality and Patient Safety, Trinity Health
  • Nancy Foster, vice president for Quality and Patient-Safety Policy, American Hospital Association
  • Thomas French, MStat, system director of Clinical Analytics, Division of Clinical Effectiveness and Quality, Providence Health & Services
  • Steve Horner, RN, BSN, MBA, vice president, Clinical Analytics, HCA, Inc.
  • Deborah Krauss, MS, BSN, RN, nurse consultant, Division of Electronic and Clinician Quality, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • Kevin Larsen, MD, FACP, medical director, Meaningful Use, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; CMS Lean Implementation, Office of the Administrator/Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Lynn Lenker, BSN, MS, RN-BC, ONC, NE-BC, system chief nursing information officer, SSM Healthcare; Nurse Champion-Project Beacon
  • Helen Lindsay Macfie, Pharm D, FABC, chief transformation officer, Certified Lean Leader, MemorialCare Health System
  • John S. Pirolo, MD, senior vice president and chief medical information officer, Ascension
  • Cindy Tourison, MSHI, acting director, Division of Quality Measurement, Quality Measurement and Value-Based Incentives Group, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

For more information on the Pioneers in Quality ™ Program, click here.

Newest Joint Commission Speak Up campaign targets identity verification

The Joint Commission launched its “Speak Up™: Right ID, Right Care” campaign on May 6, focusing on the importance of dual identifiers in healthcare. The accreditor’s press release contains an animated video, podcast, and infographic that are free for download and reuse.

The campaign is aimed at teaching patients why healthcare providers ask them for two forms of identification every time they come in; such as name, birthday, or phone number. The accreditor says that patients can become confused or worried if they don’t know why they are continuously asked to identify themselves. The campaign hopes to teach patients that the verification process is to prevent patient mix-ups and potentially giving the wrong treatment to the wrong patient.

Click here to visit the “Speak Up™: Right ID, Right Care” page.

Advanced heart failure certification requirements updated

The Joint Commission this week released its prepublication standards for advanced certification for heart failure. The updated standards go into effect on January 7, 2017, and are based on the 2013 “American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guideline for the Management of Heart Failure.”

Click here to see the advanced certification for heart failure prepublication standards. 

Joint Commission rolls out changes to Denial of Accreditation decisions

The Joint Commission has set up a program for healthcare organizations that receive Preliminary Denial of Accreditation (PDA) decision PDA02. The decision is rendered when a facility has serious and widespread noncompliance issues. The accreditor says the new policies are to help organizations with a PDA02 improve themselves and get back up to standard.

The changes include:

  • Organizations must submit an acceptable Evidence of Standards Compliance (ESC) within 30 days and address the Requirements for Improvement (RFI) identified as the drivers of the PDA decision.
  • Upon approval of the ESC, the accreditor will conduct an on-site ESC survey.
  • If Condition-level findings are identified, a Medicare Deficiency Survey must be conducted within 45 days. The organization will have the option of combining this survey with the on-site ESC survey.
  • If the organization has a successful on-site ESC survey, the accreditation decision will change from PDA to Accreditation with Follow-up Survey (AFS).
  • Areas of risk and available Joint Commission resources will be reviewed in a conference call with leadership from The Joint Commission and the organization.
  • The organization’s leadership must participate in the Intracycle Monitoring (ICM) process, which occurs at 12 and 24 months.
  • The organization’s next triennial survey will occur in the earlier segment of the 18-to-33–month window.
  • If the organization’s next triennial survey results in a repeat PDA decision, the organization will receive a recommendation for Denial of Accreditation (DA) with the opportunity of an expedited appeal.

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.