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,, 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.