JCAHO unveils 2006 fixed performance areas

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has announced that for random unannounced surveys conducted in 2006, the fixed performance areas for hospitals are: assessment and care/service, medication management; patient safety; and the 2006 National Patient Safety Goals that are applicable to the services provided by the hospital.

Random unannounced surveys will continue to be performed, even after January 2006, when all accreditation surveys will become unannounced. In fact, the Joint Commission will continue the random unannounced surveys at least through 2008, says Charlene Hill, a spokeswoman for the Joint Commission.

5% receive random surveys

Since 1993, the Joint Commission has conducted one-day unannounced surveys on a 5% percent random sample of organizations in the ambulatory care, behavioral health care, home care, hospital, and long-term care accreditation programs. The surveys are conducted nine to 30 months following the accreditation date.

According to Hill, the key areas of focus for EDs should be:

  • assessment and care;
  • medication management;
  • patient safety;
  • leadership standard LD.3.15, which require leaders to develop and implement plans to identify and mitigate impediments to efficient patient flow throughout the hospital;
  • applicable National Patient Safety Goals. For more information on the 2006 safety goals, go to the following web site: www.jcaho.org/accredited+organizations/hospitals/npsg/06_npsg_cah_hap.htm.