ED Accreditation Update: Accreditation Q & A

Q. In light of changes to the survey process made last year, what does my ED need to provide to surveyors to demonstrate compliance with staffing effectiveness standards?

A. Good news: This is a change to the survey process that is unlikely to create any new work for emergency department staff, according to Mark Forstneger, spokesman for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

"The ED is considered an outpatient setting, and hospital-based ambulatory areas do not have to collect indicators," he says.

The current list of indicators relates to inpatient populations, according to the Joint Commission. Research and field review now is being conducted to identify appropriate indicators for other populations, but no indicators have yet been identified for ambulatory patients.

(Submit questions or suggestions for this column to Joy Daughtery Dickinson, Senior Managing Editor. E-mail: joy.dickinson@thomson.com.)