RSSArchive for August, 2018

HFAP Ligature Standard Remain Same After CMS Memo

This first appeared August 23, 2018 in Hospital Safety Insider.

HFAP, one of the oldest accrediting organizations for U.S. hospitals, recently updated 13 of its standards to align with the expectations on ligature risk and other hazards that CMS outlined in a memo in December. The standards have been approved by CMS, but will not be revised again in light of the July memo, says Alise Howlett, AIA, CFPE, CHFM, HFAP’s emergency management, physical environment, and life safety standards advisor.

The July CMS memo states that surveyors would use Joint Commission ligature recommendations. Howlett says that the additional guidance is simply that, additional guidance.

The updated HFAP standards range from staff training on identifying patients for risk of self-harm to building safety policies and monitoring, from building security to life safety compliance, from privacy and safety concerns in a safe setting to requirements for environmental risk assessments.

“The HFAP standards have been approved by CMS and simply outline updates for accreditation expectations. They will be enforced per the direction of CMS which stated that AOs will use their judgment as to the identification of ligature and safety risks, what level of citation will be made for deficiencies, and the corrective action to be taken for mitigation and remedy. This is all outlined in QSO 18-21,” says Howlett.

HFAP was not part of The Joint Commission’s panel of experts, but “all accrediting organizations with deeming authority are working from the same playbook: the CMS regulations,” says Howlett.

IHI Launches Maternal Care Improvement Project

This first appeared August 22, 2018 on PSQH.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) has begun a three-year project that aims to improve maternal outcomes for women and babies in the U.S. Supported by a grant from Merck for Mothers, the project’s goals are to spread the use of evidence-based care practices to reduce complications such as hemorrhaging, hypertension, and blood clots. It also plans to implement strategies to reduce disparities in maternal outcomes, and partner with women, their caregivers, healthcare providers, and community initiatives to better learn and address factors to improve health outcomes for mothers and newborns.

“IHI has proven experience in helping healthcare providers adopt and scale up best practices that save lives across whole systems, regions, and countries,” said Trissa Torres, MD, MSPH, FACPM, chief operations and North American programs officer at IHI, in a release. “We believe that by forging partnerships with others working on these problems and combining existing expertise with IHI’s improvement methodology, we can significantly improve care delivery outcomes for new and expectant mothers.”

Annually, an estimated 750 women die in the U.S. as a result of complications of childbirth, with more than 50,000 suffering serious complications, according to the IHI. African-American women have maternal mortality rates estimated to be three to four times higher than those of white women.

Merck for Mothers is a 10-year, $500 million initiative to help improve maternal mortality rates. The program began in 2011 and has expanded to more than 30 countries.