Joint Commission discusses recent changes, common citations in 2017

Representatives from The Joint Commission, URAC, DNV-GL, the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), and National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) took the stage at the 2017 NAMSS Educational Conference & Exhibition to share what they have learned from the 2017 surveys and to tell audience members what standards changes they need to be aware of.

The Joint Commission announced four areas of focus:

  1. The SAFER Matrix: Implemented in January 2017, this matrix has nine boxes that measure the likelihood to harm a patient on one axis and scope of occurrence (limited, pattern, widespread) on the other.
  2. Antimicrobial Stewardship: The CDC reported that 20-50% of antibiotics were prescribed unnecessarily or inappropriately. Medical staffs must reduce their antimicrobial use and have a medical staff process to demonstrate an effective use of antibiotics or antimicrobials in their organizations.
  3. Ligature Risks for Behavioral Health Care Units: Due to the increasing rise of inpatient suicides (1,200-1,500 each year) 70% of which are by hanging, ligature risks are no longer acceptable in areas specified for the treatment of behavioral healthcare patients with suicide risk.
  4. Culture of Safety: Leaders must ensure a culture of safety and identify areas to improve culture of safety. Staff must be comfortable and able to report issues of safety to leadership. This is already standard under leadership and will become a medical staff standard in 2018.

According to Louis Goolsby, MD, FACOG, FACHE, the most common citations from the medical staff chapter still come from MS.01.01.01, specifically EP3 (specific requirements and associated details are included in the medical staff bylaws) and EP5 (the medical staff complies with the medical staff bylaws). Another common citation is MS.03.01.01 (practitioners only practice within their scope of privileges).

Editor’s note: Recent changes from URAC, DNV-GL, HFAP, and NCQA will be addressed in an upcoming issue of Credentialing Resource Center Journal.