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Update: NIAHO certification program

Hello,

I just wanted to share a snippet from a recent article in Briefings on The Joint Commission about a pair of hospitals which have switched to DNV, Inc.’s accreditation program. The following explains a bit about the NIAHO survey process. Hope this is of interest.

Six surveyors showed up at Citizens Medical Center (Victoria, TX) for what would end up being a three-day survey. They were presented with a list of documents to present for review, along with a tentative three-day schedule. As part of prior preparation, the documentation was quickly pulled and presented.

The survey consisted of document reviews and discussions, review of open patient records, interviews with staff, life safety tours, and more.

“All in all, the survey was very thorough, comprehensive, collaborative, and educational,” says Caren Adamson, assistant administrator at Citizens Medical Center. “We were held accountable to the prescriptive requirements of the CoPs and were assessed with our compliance with the ISO standards and our underlying framework for ongoing compliance.”

Purdy has found that the survey process for her facility has been a less stressful process for staff.

“They make it clear they’re looking at the process, not the individual,” says Judith Purdy, RN, risk/quality director at Hays (KS) Medical Center. “The staff appreciate that.

It’s not so much a new survey process,” says Purdy. “They survey the CoPs. The hospital is very familiar with those and comfortable being surveyed by those standards.”

Staff is trained in the CoPs and very aware of those standards, she explains.

“We’ve been talking to the employees for over a year that this is the agency we’re looking towards shifting to. They’ve been hearing this information for months,” says Purdy. “There is a sense of anticipation waiting for this to really happen.”

Purdy also noted there will likely be a learning curve on both sides of the survey process at first.

“To some degree they’re still training the surveyors, but as a rule there will be a generalist, a clinical person and a life safety person,” says Purdy. This list does not necessarily include a physician, and the generalist can fulfill a clinical or nonclinical role or both and will be trained in the standards to do so.

DNV has stated that they will attempt to send the same surveyors each year, with the thought that the survey process will benefit from a surveyor that has a level of knowledge about the facility and how it functions and operates.

TJC, DNV, and HFAP all to speak at conference

We’ve now confirmed speakers from The Joint Commission, DNV Healthcare, and HFAP for the May 2009 conference. Should be a great conference!

Joint Commission releases FAQ on NPSG.01.01.01

I just wanted to let everyone know The Joint Commission has released an FAQ on National Patient Safety Goal NPSG.01.01.01. The FAQ looks at whether there are any exceptions for active involvement of the patient or responsible caregiver.

The FAQ specifically looks at sleeping patients and the nurse’s role in identifying non-communicative or confused patients when another healthcare worker uses two patient identifiers. The Joint Commission states that the purpose behind this is to increase patient safety through such things as medication, diagnostic, and treatment errors. The organization must decide how to assess sleeping/non-communicative/confused patients. The organization must also determine when active involvement is necessary on the part of the responsible nurse or other caregiver.

These decisions must, obviously, be communicated to the staff and be brought about specifically for reasons of patient safety.

The NPSG.01.01.01 FAQ can be found online here.

Who’s making the switch?

In the upcoming issue of Briefings on The Joint Commission, I was able to talk with accreditation professionals at two hospitals who have applied for and been surveyed by DNV and intend to leave The Joint Commission as soon as their DNV application is approved. The conversations left me curious–how many of our members here at AHAP are looking at DNV’s accreditation process as a possible alternative?

My question to the field is–are you going through any sort of process, formal or informal, to take a look at DNV as an alternative? Has anyone decided to make the switch? What factored into the decision (for or against changing accrediting organizations)?

Working group call on critical test results

In case you missed them, we’ve posted our October 16 and October 28 calls on critical test results. Listen to them now by clicking here

Joining us on the calls was Gayla J. Jackson, RN, BSN. Gayla is a member of the AHAP advisory board and nurse manager at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. She has 26 years of experience in acute care and was one of the 17 advisory committee participants chosen to work on a three-year federal grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The AHRQ provided funding to The Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors along with the Massachusetts Hospital Association for the purpose of identifying, choosing, and implementing two patient safety initiatives, one of which was communicating critical test results.

I hope you all found these calls useful. And look for Gayla at the 3rd annual AHAP conference in May. She will be joining us in Las Vegas for the second year in a row.

Speakers for 3rd Annual AHAP conference

Just wanted to follow up on Matt’s posting and offer some details on our 2009 conference. We’ve already confirmed the following speakers and topics:

Tracers: Jodi L. Eisenberg, MHA, CPMSM, CPHQ, CSHA, chair of the AHAP advisory board and program manager of accreditation and clinical compliance at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and Jean Clark, RHIA, CSHA, member of the AHAP advisory board and service line director for health information management at Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, SC
Making the NPSGs come to life: Patricia Pejakovich, RN, BSN, MPA, CPHQ, CSHA, and WendySue Woods, RN, MHSA, CSHA, senior consultants with The Greeley Company, a division of HCPro
Leadership standards: Ken Rohde, senior consultant with The Greeley Company, a division of HCPro
Joint Commission alternatives: Patrick Horine, executive vice president of accreditation at DNV Healthcare, Inc. (we’ve also invited representatives from The Joint Commission and HFAP)
Critical test results 2.0: Gayla Jackson, RN, BSN, member of the AHAP advisory board and a practicing nurse manager at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA
Scoring: Kurt Patton, MS, president of Patton Healthcare Consulting, LLC, and former executive director of accreditation services for The Joint Commission
Survey readiness: Lisa Eddy, RN, CPHQ, CSHA, senior consultant for The Greeley Company, a division of HCPro
Suicide risk assessment: Sharon Chaput RN, CSHA, member of the AHAP advisory board and director of regulatory and quality management at Brattleboro Retreat in Brattleboro, VT
As Matt mentioned, we will be providing more details on the conference, which will take place May 14-15 in Las Vegas. Make sure to keep an eye on this blog in the comings days and weeks.
And, as always, you can sign up for the conference here.
Hope to see you all in Vegas!

Details for 2009 AHAP conference coming soon

Hello, everyone. I just wanted to let you know that we’ll be announcing speakers and topics very soon for the upcoming AHAP Conference May 14-15 in Las Vegas. Make sure to keep an eye on this blog for additional information in the comings days and weeks.

As always, you can find the basics about AHAP’s annual conference here.

News regarding The Joint Commission's critical access hospital accreditation program

Hello, everyone. Just wanted to let you know about some breaking news out of today’s Federal Register:

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in the October 24, 2008 Federal Register that The Joint Commission’s critical access hospital accreditation program will undergo a 180-day probationary period while gaps between the standards and CMS Conditions of Participation (CoP) are fixed.

According to the Federal Register, “review of The Joint Commission revised accreditation standards for hospitals revealed that significant gaps remain between The Joint Commission standards and the Medicare hospital CoPs.”

In addition, “if we determine that an AO [accreditation organization] has failed to adopt requirements comparable to CMS requirements, we may grant a conditional approval of the AO’s deeming authority for a period of up to 180 days to adopt comparable requirements.”

You can read the complete announcement in the Federal Register here.

We’ll be watching this as things develop both here in the blog as well as in Briefings on The Joint Commission. What’s your impression on this situation? Do you feel like CMS is cracking down deliberately on The Joint Commission? Or is this just a step towards getting everyone on the same page?

DNV on the Web

Hello,

Thought this might be of interest to our members: healthcare lawyer and consultant David Harlow posted in his blog yesterday about potential benefits and costs to moving to DNV’s NIAHO program for hospital accreditation. Even more interesting, though, is that his post received direct feedback from DNV in the form of a reply by Executive Vice President Darrel Scott.

Scott responded directly to issues about rumored confusion about insurance companies and the NIAHO program, and clarified the timeframe in which a hospital must become ISO-9001 compliant upon entering the NIAHO accreditation program (within two years of their first accreditation effective date).

Looks like DNV is monitoring what folks are saying in the field. Have any of you started exploring the option of changing accrediting organizations in the future? What sort of questions are you hoping to have answered about DNV, NIAHO, and ISO-9001?

3rd Annual Conference in May

I’m thrilled to be serving again as the program chair for the 3rd annual AHAP conference. We’re making great progress now in developing the curriculum for the conference, which will take place May 14-15, 2009, at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. We’re building off all the great feedback from the 2nd annual conference and we will be offering more networking opportunities, interactive sessions, and “real life” information you can use as soon as you get back to your hospitals.

For those who may not know me, I’m Program Manager for Accreditation and Clinical Compliance at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. I’ve been involved in healthcare administration and quality for over 20 years, and I’ve been involved with AHAP since HCPro established it more than two years ago. My involvement in this association has provided me with networking opportunities within a community of highly motivated and knowledgeable professionals, and it has become an important avenue to validate the work that we are all doing to drive quality within our organizations through the accreditation process.

I wanted to update you on some of the topics we’ll be covering at the conference. The 2009 conference will include sessions on recent changes to the National Patient Safety Goals, The Joint Commission’s Leadership standards, tracers, critical test results, and more. And we’ve already confirmed a speaker from DNV Healthcare, Inc., the first new organization to receive deeming authority for hospitals in more than 30 years.

I invite you to email me (jeisenbe@nmh.org) or contract Brian Driscoll, AHAP’s director, at briandriscoll@hcpro.com if you have any questions about the AHAP conference, or if you have any suggestions how we can make it better.

I hope to see you all in Las Vegas!

PS: I hope you all saw Brian’s email inviting you to participate in the 2nd annual AHAP Salary Survey. Brian tells me we have almost 100 responses already. Also, stay tuned for the next working group call, which will focus on critical test results and feature AHAP advisor Gayla Jackson.