Joint Commission Online - May 27, 2020
Joint Commission Online is The Joint Commission's weekly newsletter and is posted every Wednesday.
May 27, 2020
The Joint Commission will begin resuming some survey and review activities in June.
The Joint Commission is committed to working closely with organizations, with safety being the first and foremost priority. As we start to resume some of these survey and review activities, account executives will begin to contact organizations due for a survey to assess the impact that the coronavirus pandemic had on their operations and their current state.
The Joint Commission is reviewing a variety of factors and criteria for determining where and which organizations will be surveyed, including identifying and then prioritizing low-risk areas in which we can go in safely to survey.
Our survey process will look somewhat different, as we will need to employ physical distancing practices to ensure the safety of all parties. These will include:
- Limiting the numbers of individuals in group sessions. The use of audio or video conference calls can be incorporated by the organization to safely expand the number of attendees.
- Minimizing the number of people who accompany the surveyor on tracer activities.
- Using masks will be a routine practice, and we will expect the organization to provide masks and/or other personal protective equipment (PPE) to surveyors and reviewers while on-site.
- Maximizing the use of technology to eliminate the need for a number of people to sit directly next to an individual for an extended time. For example, conducting electronic medical record reviews using screen-sharing or displaying/projecting the record. Other examples include simulating an activity if we are unable to enter a high-risk space, and interviewing patients or staff by phone.
- Driving in separate cars to off-site locations or home visits.
Our survey will focus on a thorough assessment but will not retroactively review compliance. The implementation of an organization’s emergency operations plan will not be the focus of return survey activity considering the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) waivers and other extensions. Rather, we will work to understand how you have adapted to the pandemic and review your current practices to assure you are providing safe care and working in a safe environment.
The Joint Commission has been compiling resources to provide health care staff with the most pertinent information to best meet their needs as they battle the COVID-19 virus. The resources are available on The Joint Commission’s website.
Questions regarding the resumption of these survey and review activities may be directed to your organization’s assigned account executive.
May 27, 2020
Joint Commission staff are on the front lines of caring for patients with COVID-19, and those experiences are being shared in a new series, ‘Real Voices. Real Stories.’
A home care surveyor with The Joint Commission, Bih-Shang Shen, RN, MSN, also is a home health agency administrator. She recently discussed how the role of home health care has expanded during the coronavirus pandemic and how communication with the patient is more vital than ever.
“We sent the message to the discharge planners in the hospital that we are willing as home care agencies to monitor their COVID-19 positive patients or possible COVID-19 positive patients,” she said. “When they are waiting for their results at home, we can also help to do the phone assessment and phone follow-up if they want us to do that. We make sure we are helping the hospital and the community by monitoring the patient's symptoms when they are home. We can also do a lot of education over the phone with these patients, such as how to isolate themselves from the other family members, wash hands and wear masks.
“The community is relying on health care workers, especially home care workers, because we are out in the community talking to the patient and the family. When we educate it's not just patients, it’s the whole family and friends who have contact or communication with the patient. I think home care bears a big responsibility in educating the community.”
Read more “Real Voices. Real Stories.”
May 27, 2020
A new eligibility requirement for the Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement (THKR) program will require certified organizations to have served a minimum of 20 patients — 10 who have undergone primary total hip replacement and 10 who have undergone primary total knee replacement.
The requirement will go into effect July 1 for advanced THKR-certified hospitals, critical access hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers or those organizations seeking certification.
May 27, 2020
Gary Bachrach has been appointed as the new executive director of The Joint Commission’s Home Care Accreditation Program. Bachrach is a strategic business development executive with more than 25 years of experience in a variety of health care settings, including acute care, long-term care and durable medical equipment.
As executive director, Bachrach will be responsible for driving product strategy and development for the Home Care program to meet the needs of current and prospective customers. He also will oversee integrated business development and marketing strategies for the accreditation program.
“Gary’s blended background of sales and customer-facing service operations is a strong fit for this leadership role,” said Brian Enochs, JD, executive vice president, Business Development and Marketing. “As more patients and their families turn to the home care setting for care and services, I look forward to Gary’s expertise in identifying new opportunities to grow our Home Care Accreditation Program for the more than 6,000 home care programs that we accredit.”
In addition to providing strategic business development consulting services to health care companies, Bachrach previously served as: area vice president for Freedom Medical, a national medical equipment company with an emphasis on fall and wound prevention and healing; chief operating officer for Daniels Health, a sharps containment system company that reduces needle sticks to health care workers; and on the leadership team for Global Service and Support at Integra LifeSciences, Inc., a medical device company that limits uncertainty for surgeons.
Bachrach is on the board of directors for Hope Loves Company, the only nonprofit in the United States with the mission to provide education and emotional support to children who have or had a loved one battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Bachrach graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton with a bachelor’s degree in English and history.
May 27, 2020
On Infection Prevention & Control — Face Covers for Individuals Served at Behavioral Health Care Organizations: The Joint Commission does not determine which items are prohibited from a behavioral health care setting. Items that are prohibited from use in an organization, due to the risk of harm to self or others, should be determined by the organization, writes Robert Campbell, PharmD, director, Clinical Standards Interpretation for Hospital/Ambulatory Programs.