ED Accreditation Update: Accreditation Q & A

Accreditation carries with it questions, some specific to individual organizations, but many that apply universally. In this section, ED Accreditation Update will provide experts’ answers to your accreditation questions, as well as tips from organizations that fared well during their survey process. Submit questions or suggestions for this section to Joy Daughtery Dickinson, Senior Managing Editor. E-mail: joy.dickinson@ahcpub.com.

Q: What should we expect during a Joint Commission patient safety and medications use interview?

A: In an ED, nurses often act without direct supervision, so Joint Commission surveyors are going to find it important that nurses understand and clarify physician orders and assess the patient quickly yet thoroughly, including patient identification, allergies, body weight, correct dosage, and appropriateness of the medication being administered, says Reba Crutcher Qualls, RN, CPHQ, LHCRM, health care consultant, Risk & Quality Solutions., Nokomis, FL.

"With the aging population, polypharmacy is a growing concern, so drug/drug [including herbal supplements] and drug/food interactions are major considerations in patient safety and medication administration," she says.

The new interviews will concentrate on patient safety, medication management, and caregiver communication, according to Mark Forstneger, a spokesman for the Joint Commission.

For more information, contact Qualls by mail at 1204 Laurel Pines Circle, Nokomis, FL 34275. Phone: (941) 485-9872. E-mail: quallsreba@aol.com.