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Joint Commission targets CAUTIs with updated NPSG

Earlier this year, The Joint Commission updated its National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) on catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) for hospitals and critical access hospitals. It also created a new CAUTI NPSG for nursing care centers.

“An estimated 1 to 3 million healthcare-associated infections strike nursing home residents annually, and many of these are infections related to urinary catheters,” wrote David Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, Joint Commission executive vice president, in a blog post. “CAUTIs can lead to serious complications and hospitalizations. And, the rate of these infections is even higher for hospital patients. This is why The Joint Commission felt it was important to implement its new National Patient Safety Goal for nursing care centers and an updated goal for hospitals and critical access hospitals to reflect the latest scientific evidence.”

Among the new changes are requirements to:

•    Educate staff on how to correctly use and insert indwelling catheters.
•    Educate patients and family on CAUTI risks and prevention
•    Use evidence-based guidelines to write catheter use policies.
•    Follow written procedures based on established evidence-based guidelines for inserting and maintaining an indwelling urinary catheter.
•    Maintain an up-to-date record of catheter use; who has one inserted, when was it implanted, etc.

All the changes go into effect on January 1, 2017 and are meant to improve staff training, educate patients, and update policies with evidence-based practices. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it wants to see a 50% reduction in CAUTI by 2020.

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Joint Commission publishes 2017 Survey Activity Guide

The Joint Commission just published its 2017 Survey Activity Guide, with information on how to prepare for your next survey. It also contains details on policy changes in 2017, such as the new antimicrobial stewardship program standard for hospitals, critical access hospitals, and nursing homes.

Joint Commission updates ASC survey process

Starting January 1, two-thirds of ambulatory surgical centers (ASC) using the Medicare-deemed option may receive adjustments to their Joint Commission survey team structure and survey length. The Joint Commission is doing this as part of an effort to better align with CMS surveyor guidelines. Onsite survey fees for qualifying ASCs will be adjusted to reflect the number of surveyors on site and the length of the survey. The goals of this are to:

  • Give surveyors more time for a thorough evaluation of the clinical component of ASC Medicare-deemed surveys
  • Give surveyors time to cover and complete both Joint Commission and CMS requirements, patient tracers, review medical records and credentialing files, and CMS-required worksheets
  • Share leading practices with ASCs and produce a more meaningful, educational, and consultative experience
  • Create a survey team that has two clinical surveyors (in majority of survey events) who are able to work together in real-time to maintain consistency of interpretation
  • Better prepare ASCs for their CMS state survey

The Life Safety Code® component of the survey will remain unchanged (one surveyor for one day) unless circumstances call for additional time.

Organizations with questions on the changes are asked to speak with their Joint Commission account executive.