ORYX option can reduce duplication of data

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has announced a new option that can help long-term care organizations reduce duplicative data collection requirements and even the costs of complying with ORYX.

Under a new plan just recently developed by the organization, an Internet-based reporting system will allow long-term care organizations to self-report to the Joint Commission the aggregate quality indicator data from the Minimum Data Set (MDS) mandated by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

This will permit these organizations to use the same data to satisfy both government and Joint Commission performance data report requirements, says Marianna Kern Grachek, MSN, RN, CNHA, executive director of Long Term Care and Assisted Living Accreditation Programs at the Joint Commission.

Long-term care organizations that are satisfied with their current approach to meeting ORYX requirements may continue working with a Joint Commission-accepted performance measurement system without any disruption, Grachek says.

The new option was created in response to concerns expressed by accredited organizations and an August 2001 survey that found that this option and current reporting provisions would satisfy more than 70% of respondents.

The new options will preserve the widely recognized need to collect and transmit performance data while affording flexibility to long-term care organizations, she says. The charges for exercising the MDS data option — estimated at $550 annually — will be rolled into the triennial survey for accredited organizations.

A transition period of one year will be required for the Joint Commission to build the necessary infrastructure to receive self-reported data via the Internet. During this time, the organization will consider ORYX participation exemptions on an ad hoc basis to provide immediate relief to overburdened long-term care organizations. Such exemptions will require that long-term care organizations share MDS data reports with surveyors during onsite surveys and make those 2002 reports available to the Joint Commission via the Internet in 2003.