Joint Commission addresses video monitoring

The Joint Commission recently addressed video monitoring of patients at high risk for suicide, stating, “For patients identified as high risk for suicide, constant 1:1 visual observation should be implemented (in which a qualified staff member is assigned to observe only one patient at all times) that would allow the staff member to immediately intervene should the patient attempt self-harm. The use of video monitoring or ‘electronic-sitters’ would not be acceptable in this situation because staff would not be immediately available to intervene. The use of video monitoring would only be acceptable as a complement to the 1:1 monitoring, and not acceptable as a standalone intervention.”

AHA shares recommendations on telehealth

The American Hospital Association (AHA) shared with members of the Congressional Telehealth Caucus recommendations for improving access to telehealth. “Overall, the AHA appreciates your focus on expanding and improving access to telehealth services for patients,” the AHA stated in a response to a letter seeking suggestions for potential legislation. “The recent changes made to Medicare coverage of telehealth are promising, but more can be done.” AHA urged Congress to expand Medicare coverage; resolve legal and regulatory challenges; increase research on the cost benefits of telehealth; add flexibility in new payment models; and improve the Federal Communications Commission Rural Health Care Program. 

Seismic regs could cost California hospitals billions

California hospitals would need to invest between $34 billion and $143 billion to meet 2030 state seismic safety standards, according to the latest cost estimate by the RAND Corp. A state law requires hospitals to pay for upgrades to reduce their risk of collapse by 2020 and to remain operational after an earthquake by 2030. According to the report, one in three California hospitals are in financial distress, which could rise to more than 50 percent as hospitals comply. “Given that hospitals most at risk of collapse will be upgraded by 2020, there is an opportunity for analysis and discussion for how to most effectively and efficiently enhance resilience,” says lead author Benjamin Preston, director of RAND’s Community Health and Environmental Policy Program. The study was funded by the California Hospital Association.

Shooter response standard open for comment

The next edition of National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 3000, Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response Program, is open for comment until June 5. The provisional standard addresses all aspects of the process, from identifying hazards and assessing vulnerability to planning, resource management, incident management at a command level, competencies for first responders and recovery.

FDA proposes updates for mammography facilities

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a proposed rule that would update requirements under the Mammography Quality Standards Act of 1992, which authorized FDA oversight of mammography facilities. The rule would expand the information that mammography facilities must provide to patients and health care professionals, modernize mammography quality standards and enhance facility oversight. New and amended proposed provisions related to technology would update several equipment and quality control provisions to address current technology. The FDA will accept comments until June 26.