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Issue Detail


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Home Care Bulletin - Issue 4, 2017

Home Care Bulletin is published by The Joint Commission’s Department of Corporate Communications.


Quality and safety


New Quick Safety focuses on improving access to home care

Many patients who are discharged from the hospital benefit from home health care services, but some patients who need and are eligible for these services are not receiving them. This topic is the focus of a new Quick Safety issue on improving access to home care.


Study: Link exists between Joint Commission accreditation, higher public quality ratings

Over a three-year period, Joint Commission-accredited home health agencies performed higher statistically than non-accredited agencies on federal quality of patient care star ratings and quality measures, according to a new study published by Home Health Care Management & Practice.


Sentinel event statistics released through June 30, 2017

The Joint Commission has reviewed a total of 13,346 reports of sentinel events, from January 1995 to June 30, 2017. Its Sentinel Event Database includes data collected and analyzed from this review of sentinel events. The information includes causes and outcomes of sentinel events, and provides critical information that can help guide local efforts to mitigate future risk.


Accreditation and Certification


Effective Nov. 15: Updates to Emergency Management standards

In response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) final rule on emergency preparedness in September 2016, The Joint Commission updated its Emergency Management (EM) standards. The most significant changes are to the home health settings with 39 new or revised elements of performance (EPs) and ambulatory health care with 29. Hospitals and critical access hospitals each have 21 new requirements.


Helpful tip: LVN/LPNs cannot perform ongoing comprehensive assessments at hospices

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Conditions of Participation (CoPs) 42 C.F.R. § 418.56 (Condition of Participation: Interdisciplinary group, care planning, and coordination of services) for hospices require a registered nurse (RN) that is a member of the interdisciplinary group provide coordination of care and ensure continuous assessment of each patient’s and family’s needs and implementation of the interdisciplinary plan of care.


Effective Jan. 1, 2018: Medication Compounding chapter added to Home Care manual

The Joint Commission is implementing a new Medication Compounding chapter in its Home Care Accreditation manual, starting Jan. 1, 2018. This chapter will apply to all compounding pharmacies that seek initial accreditation and triennial re-accreditation.


Reminder: Revisions to EC, LS chapters for Life Safety Code update take effect Jan. 1

The Joint Commission has revised the Life Safety (LS) and Environment of Care (EC) chapters in its Home Care Accreditation manual following adoption of the 2012 editions of the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 101: Life Safety Code and NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code. These standards revisions will take effect Jan. 1, 2018.


Phase 4 revisions for EP Review Project take effect Jan. 1

Phase 4 of The Joint Commission’s EP Review Project — a multi-phased component of Project REFRESH — has started, with elements of performance (EPs) across all accreditation manuals being evaluated for streamlining and consolidation. Revisions from the first part of Phase 4 will be effective Jan. 1, 2018.


Calif. Dept. of Public Health: Joint Commission accreditation OK for home health licensure

In October, the California Department of Public Health approved Joint Commission accreditation as an option for home health providers to obtain initial licensure and re-licensure.




New video: Joint Commission president explains how safety culture can protect patients

Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president and chief executive officer of The Joint Commission, explained in a new video how years of survey and patient safety experiences led The Joint Commission to conclude that a strong safety culture can eliminate a wide variety of patient safety risks.


Sentinel Event Alert focuses on inadequate hand-offs, tips to improve them

Health care professionals work diligently to meet patient needs and provide the best care possible. Unfortunately, too often, this effort and attentiveness falters when a patient is handed off, or transitioned, to another health care provider for continuing care, treatment or services. A common problem regarding hand-offs, or hand-overs, centers on communication.