Joint Commission identifies compliance challenges

Facilities // The Joint Commission requirements for hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) identified most frequently as noncompliant during surveys and reviews in 2014 included many facilities-related issues, according to an item in a recent Joint Commission Online newsletter. For instance, the most frequently violated environment of care regulations were “the [hospital or CAH] establishes and maintains a safe, functional environment” and “the [hospital or CAH] manages risks associated with its utility systems.” Likewise, the most frequently violated life safety regulation was “the [hospital or CAH] maintains the integrity of the means of egress.” Hospitals and CAHs also were found frequently noncompliant with “reducing the risk of infections associated with medical equipment, devices and supplies.”

Multidrug-resistant bacterial illness spreading in U.S.

Infection prevention // International travelers are bringing a multidrug-resistant intestinal illness to the United States, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Shigella sonnei bacteria sickened 243 people in 32 states and Puerto Rico between May 2014 and February 2015 as ill travelers returned to the United States and infected others. Nearly 90 percent of the cases tested were resistant to ciprofloxacin (Cipro), the first choice to treat shigellosis in U.S. adults. “Drug-resistant infections are harder to treat and because Shigella spreads so easily between people, the potential for more — and larger — outbreaks is a real concern,” says CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD.

ECRI releases top patient safety concerns for 2015

Patient safety // The nonprofit ECRI Institute recently released its second annual list of the Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations. The top three concerns this year are inadequate alarm configuration policies and practices; incorrect or missing data in electronic health records and other health information technology systems; and managing patient violence. Other concerns identified by ECRI include mix-ups of intravenous lines, inadequate reprocessing of endoscopes and surgical instruments, and inadequate patient handoffs related to patient transport.

OSHA updates guidance on workplace violence

Security // The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released an update to its Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care & Social Service Workers, which includes industry best practices, and highlights the most effective ways to reduce the risk of violence. The revised guidelines incorporate research in the last decade into the causes of workplace violence in health care and social service settings, risk factors that accompany working with patients or clients who display violent behavior, and appropriate preventive measures.

Duodenoscope maker issues reprocessing help

Infection prevention // Olympus America Inc. issued a new, validated manual of reprocessing instructions for a specific duodenoscope model to replace those provided in the original labeling, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced. The company has a pending 510(k) application for the device. “The FDA has reviewed these new reprocessing instructions and the validation data as part of its ongoing review of the 510(k), and recommends that any facilities that are using the Olympus TJF-Q180V duodenoscope train staff on the new instructions and implement them as soon as possible,” agency officials said.