The Joint Commission adds safety briefing to surveys

The Joint Commission added a safety briefing to all accreditation surveys effective Jan. 1. The informal briefing allows organizations to tell surveyors about any potential contemporary safety concerns and how the surveyors should respond if the organizations’ safety plans are implemented while surveyors are on-site. The briefing will be incorporated into the arrival and greeting activities held on Day 1 of surveys. Topics that an organization should be prepared to discuss include fires; workplace violence, including active shooter scenarios; and any specific issues that surveyors may encounter.

Changes coming to NFPA 70B

According to leaders at the American Society for Health Care Engineering, changes are coming for NFPA 70B, Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance. If approved by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) membership and the NFPA Standards Council next summer, it will acquire its new status as a standard at the end of next year. While it may not become applicable immediately, it is important to be ready for the eventual change. Although there is no indication it will be directly adopted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, NFPA 70B will likely be referenced in future editions of NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code® (NEC). It may also be adopted directly by states as they adopt current editions of the NEC. Once adopted by an authority having jurisdiction, it becomes an enforceable standard.

CMS issues memo on health care workplace violence 

On Nov. 28, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a memorandum encouraging health care organizations to provide a safe setting for workers to administer patient care. Medicare-certified hospitals have a regulatory obligation to care for patients in a safe setting under the Medicare Hospital Conditions of Participation at §482.13(c)(2). Patients who are at risk of suicide or other forms of self-harm (as well as those who exhibit violent behavior toward others) receive health care services in both inpatient and outpatient facilities. To continue providing care in a safe setting, health care organizations should identify patients at risk for intentional harm to self or others, identify environmental safety risks, and provide education and training for staff and volunteers.

The Joint Commission reduces standards

The Joint Commission (TJC) announced it is eliminating 168 standards and revising 14 other standards across its accreditation programs to streamline requirements and make them as efficient and impactful on patient safety, quality and equity as possible. Additionally, TJC is not raising its accreditation fees for domestic hospitals in 2023, in recognition of the many financial challenges hospitals and health systems continue to face. The first tranche of standards deletions and revisions by program are effective as of Jan. 1. The standards reduction is the result of TJC’s comprehensive review that was announced in September 2022. TJC reviewed all “above-and-beyond” requirements that go beyond requirements of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Conditions of Participation.