Joint Commission Online - March 23, 2022
Joint Commission Online is The Joint Commission's weekly newsletter and is posted every Wednesday.
March 23, 2022
The Joint Commission is developing new and revised requirements to reduce health care disparities for its Hospital, Critical Access Hospital, Ambulatory Health Care, and Behavioral Health Care and Human Services accreditation programs. A field review is now open seeking input on the proposed new Leadership (LD) standard LD.04.03.08 and revisions to Record of Care, Treatment, and Services (RC) standard RC.02.01.01.
Reducing health care disparities is a quality and safety priority. Research suggests that identifying the sociodemographic characteristics, social determinants of health, and unmet social needs of an organization’s population of patients or individuals served is essential to assess and address healthcare disparities. Understanding which processes and outcomes vary from one group to another allows an organization to explore the possible root causes of a health care disparity and to tailor interventions to improve care.
Comment now on the proposed changes to the following programs:
Feedback will be accepted until May 4.
March 23, 2022
The Joint Commission has issued a statement commending President Joseph R. Biden on signing the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, a bipartisan bill to address the well-being of health care professionals. The law provides federal grants for training programs to reduce burnout and to provide mental health services for health care workers.
“The Joint Commission applauds the inclusion of a provision in the law to review the barriers health care professionals face when seeking mental services,” the statement reads.
Dr. Breen was a physician in New York, who worked in a hospital during the onset of COVID-19. Tragically, she died by suicide in April 2020.
“Importantly, The Joint Commission thanks Dr. Lorna Breen’s family for their efforts to address this critical issue,” the statement reads.
The Joint Commission has published several statements in support of removing barriers to mental health care for clinicians. The Joint Commission also has issued a Quick Safety newsletter on promoting the psychosocial well-being of health care staff.
March 23, 2022
Improvement Insights — Increasing Telehealth Access for Older Adults During Pandemic: At the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), we launched our Video Visits for Elders Project (VVEP) and conducted telephone outreach to more than 1,400 older primary care patients in the early months of the pandemic when we were not seeing patients in-person. Our patient population is diverse across multiple domains, including socioeconomic, race, ethnicity, and language. As detailed in the March 2022 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, our goal was to help older adults log onto video for a video visit, writes Leah Karliner, MD, MAS, Professor of Medicine, University of California San Francisco.
March 23, 2022
A new book from Joint Commission Resources (JCR) aims to help hospitals, critical access hospitals and behavioral health care and human services (BHC) organizations prevent patient suicides.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that emergency department (ED) visits for mental health reasons increased 31% among adolescents aged 12-17 in 2020 compared to 2019. Additionally, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, issued an advisory on the youth mental health crisis in December 2021.
An important task for health care organizations is to screen at-risk individuals for possible suicidal ideation, assess those who screen positive, and implement appropriate mitigation strategies as needed. The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) NPSG.15.01.01 requires that accredited hospital, critical access hospital and BHC organizations reduce the risk of suicide. This involves identifying vulnerable individuals, evaluating the environmental risks for suicide, implementing mitigation strategies, and providing counseling and follow-up care.
“Preventing Patient Suicide” covers the following topics:
- Environmental risk assessments and actions to minimize suicide risk (such as using ligature-resistant plumbing fixtures in patient bathrooms and removing plastic bags and sharp objects from patient rooms).
- Populations that are especially likely to be at risk for suicide, from military veterans to the LGBTQ community.
- Validated screening tools to identify individuals at risk for suicide.
- Assessment of the severity of suicide risk.
- Documentation of an individual’s level of risk and the mitigation plan to minimize that risk.
- Written policies and procedures (P&Ps) for caring for individuals at risk for suicide.
- Monitoring of the implementation and effectiveness of suicide prevention P&Ps.
- Actions to improve compliance.
Key features of the book include:
- An analysis of what is required by NPSG.15.01.01.
- Best-practice suggestions from external authorities on suicide prevention.
- Links (in the e-book) to validated tools used by the Veterans Health Administration and other entities with expertise on suicide prevention, as well as lists of other helpful resources.
- JCR checklists and other tools to assist with preventing patient suicide.
Purchase the book.