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Infection control is among the performance areas that will be reviewed during 2001 random unannounced surveys of home health services by the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Healthcare Infection Prevention has learned.
The surveys consist of high-risk grid elements - including infection control - and other "variable" information regarding an organization’s specific performance. Random unannounced surveys, which may be conducted nine to 30 months following an organization’s triennial survey, serve as mechanisms for validating sustained compliance throughout the triennial cycle.
Joint Commission surveyors also will address infection control issues in visits to ambulatory patient care settings this year. Those inspections will include "a tour of the setting to survey the environment of care, infection control, patient care, staff communication, patient rights issues, and other standards," the commission reports.
In other Joint Commission news, recent changes in policy have led to some confusion about plans for surveying hospital-based long-term care facilities in 2001. JCAHO recently clarified that hospital-based long-term care facilities with an average daily census of 20 or more - regardless of length of stay - will be surveyed under the "Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Long Term Care" this year. On the other hand, hospital-based long-term care facilities with an average daily census of less than 20 will have the option of being surveyed under either the hospital or long-term care manual in 2001.