Newsbriefs

January 23, 2006

To catch a thief

To catch a thief; JCAHO eyes new goals for 2007

JCAHO is considering what new National Patient Safety Goals to establish for hospitals for 2007. Posted on its Web site, http://www.jcaho.org/accredited+organizations/field_reviews.htm, JCAHO proposes the following drug-related additions:

Extend the welcome mat

Hospitals are bracing themselves for unannounced surveys from JCAHO starting this year. To give hospitals more information about this new process, JCAHO has published a Q&A on its Web site. Among the information released is the following: Hospitals can identify up to 10 days each year (so-called blackout dates) in which an unannounced survey should be avoided. For instance, hospitals taking part in regional events can request that a survey not take place during that period. How long does JCAHO plan to conduct one-day, random, unannounced surveys? They will be performed in a 5% sample of the healthcare organizations JCAHO accredits every year through the end of 2007. Finally there was this interesting question posted: Since the survey is unannounced, how can an organization tell if the individuals identifying themselves as surveyors are indeed from JCAHO? The commission responded that on the morning of a hospital's survey, the biographies and pictures of the surveyors, along with the survey agenda, will be sent to the hospital's secure site on JCAHO's extranet.