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ED Accreditation Update
TJC hopes changeaids transparency
The Joint Commission is hoping that its suspension of a policy that triggers an "automatic" adverse decision if an organization fails to complete an acceptable root cause analysis in response to a sentinel event or its related measure of success within a specified time frame will encourage more self-reporting and advance root cause analysis activities.
"Certainly when an organization has an event, it's devastating for the clinicians and the organization," notes Anita Giuntoli, BSN, RN, MJ, associate director of the Office of Quality Monitoring at The Joint Commission. "We respect the journey they're on to sort out where they go from here, and in looking at their processes for improving patient safety, we feel if we dialogue about the issue and if we collaborate, we will continue to improve together."
Giuntoli says she hopes this change will cause providers to be more alert in the future to incidents that might lend themselves to a sentinel event alert or a national patient safety goal. "We know there are issues of liability and that organizations do have to think carefully when choosing to self-report," she says. "They need to know that all the information we have is extremely confidential. We feel that concern can be taken away."
In addition, there have been concerns that the organization's accreditation status might be impacted by the sharing of the event, Giuntoli says. "Now, we feel we may have taken away one of the barriers. We will not do that in an arbitrary, automatic way, but actively look to earnestly engage in patient safety with them," she says.
However, Mary Anne Morris, MS, RN, senior director of accreditation services for Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, is not so sure that by publicizing the policy change, the Joint Commission won't achieve the opposite effect. "In the past, people may have reported events without knowing it could affect their accreditation status," she says. "More people may now be aware of the potential cost."