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Joint Commission teams up with ASHI

The Joint Commission and the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) have entered a cooperative agreement to recognize histocompatibility (HLA) accreditation. Effective July 1, 2011, ASHI will have the authority as a deemed accreditor for transplant testing services in Joint Commission facilities.

The Joint Commission said the agreement will reduce the burdens on health care organizations by eliminating the need for duplicate laboratory surveys for organizations conducting HLA testing, and will also save them money by accepting the ASHI accreditation as evidence of compliance with Joint Commission policies and standards.

Find out more  and see what each organization has to say about the agreement by visiting The Joint Commission Website here.

Joint Commission updates sentinel event statistics

The Joint Commission has updated its website with its latest sentinel event statistics. As of September 30, 2010, the sentinel event database has record of 7,147  sentinel events reviewed by The Joint Commission since its implementation in January 2005. All events were voluntarily reported by Joint Commission accredited organizations, and represent only a small proportion of actual events.

According to the organization’s statistics, the top ten sentinel events submitted to The Joint Commission over the past 15.5 years are:

  1. Wrong-site surgery: 956
  2. Suicide: 832
  3. Operative/post-operative complication: 775
  4. Delay in treatment: 611
  5. Medication error: 563
  6. Patient fall: 461
  7. Unintended retention of foreign body: 421
  8. Assault, rape, or homicide: 270
  9. Perinatal death or loss of function: 229
  10. Patient death or injury in restraints: 204

A total of 7,288 patients were affected by these events, with 4,844 resulting in patient death.

Click here to view more statistics.

Joint Commission releases new website

The Joint Commission has launched extensive upgrades to its website in order to improve access to information about healthcare quality and safety. Based on research with healthcare organizations, healthcare professionals, consumers, and the like, the new website features:

  • Sign-ups for alerts to upcoming events, newsletters, and field reviews
  • A “Daily Update” section with new information from the past 24 hours
  • Enhanced search functionality and multi-media functionality for videos, podcasts, and RSS feeds
  • Interactive features such as blogs, discussion forums, speaker’s bureau request forms, and options to share information with other people
  • Easier navigation and search functionality
  • A Joint Commission events and conferences calendar

Visitors to the site will still be able to access Quality Check, The Joint Commission’s search engine for Joint Commission certified healthcare organizations located within the United States and its territories, and a tutorial of the new site is available here.

Joint Commission releases Sentinel Event Alert

The latest Sentinel Event Alert was released by The Joint Commission this morning urging healthcare leaders to become more involved in the prevention of medical errors at their facilities, as well as to take more responsibility when errors do occur. The alert, titled “Leadership committed to safety,” reflects many of the changes made to the leadership chapter in The Joint Commission’s 2009 Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals (which contains the standards hospitals need to comply with to attain accreditation by The Joint Commission.)

The alert asks leaders to recognize that if there is a failure of some sort in the organization, no matter the result, they are ultimately responsible, and acknowledging that will go a long way toward fixing those errors. Additionally, building a culture of safety is part of preventing medical errors and is something that can only truly happen when leaders buy-in and show that that doing so is not just something they are preaching–it is something they live every single day.

The alert gives some recommendations to leaders. One of these is creating a transparent environment that encourages reporting of near miss events and allows staff members to talk freely about the facility’s trouble spots without being penalized. Similar to this, one recommendation is to support staff members who are involved in a medical error by recognizing that errors are most often the result of system failures, rather than assigning blame to one or two people involved. Allowing involved staff members to participate in the route cause analysis and investigation will help prevent future errors. However, the alert also recommends that leaders recognize the need to create a functioning disciplinary policy for those staff members who exhibit specific, defined behaviors.

You can read the full list of recommendations, as well as the Sentinel Event Alert here.

AHAP conference 2009 leadership session

For those of you who did not get a chance to attend the 3rd Annual AHAP Conference that took place in Las Vegas two week ago, and for those of you who did attend and would like a chance to listen to the leadership session, here is your chance. The session touched on how best to engage your hospital’s leaders in both creating a culture of safety and demonstrating involvement in patient safety to comply with Joint Commission standards.

The presentation, given by Ken Rohde, consultant for The Greeley Company, opened the 2009 conference.

To find a copy of the slides that accompanied the presentation titled “The 2009 Leadership Standards: A Toolbox Approach,” click here.

To listen to the audio recorded at the session, click the link below. You will first hear Jodi Eisenberg, Chair of AHAP, introduce Ken.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

For those who attended the conference, we hope you enjoyed it and would love any additional feedback you’d like to offer for how we can improve the conference in the coming years.

Joint Commission appoints new member of the leadership team

Hello, Everyone. Just wanted to mention the latest Joint Commission news: The Joint Commission has announced Mark G. Pelletier, RN, MS, as the organization’s new executive director of Hospital Programs and Accreditation and Certification Services.

Pelletier brings more than 20 years of experience as a healthcare executive, most recently with Condell Medical Center, Libertyville, IL, where he was senior vice president and chief operating officer.

In his role with The Joint Commission, Pelletier will oversee the hospital and critical access hospital accreditation programs, as well as act as director for customer accounts for all accreditation programs, among other responsibilities.

To view the official Joint Commission press release, click here.