Audio conferences tackle critical compliance issues for sharps safety, pain management

Don’t run the risk of fees or losing your accreditation

Health care organizations today are challenged by more than just providing quality patient care. Compliance issues can create headaches for facilities that aren’t prepared. How well does your facility meet certain regulations? Are your staff properly armed with the most up-to-date information? To help you prepare, American Health Consultants offers two upcoming audio conferences dealing with current, hot-topic compliance issues: pain management and needle safety.

The first hurdle to overcome in developing a pain management strategy is the misconception that effective pain management is not a problem within your facility or does not need to be a high priority. The audio conference Complying with JCAHO Pain Management Standards: Is Your Facility at Risk? is scheduled for Oct. 8, from 2:30-3:30 p.m., ET. Conference speakers Patrice L. Spath, BA, RHIT, and Michelle H. Pelling, MBA, RN, will teach participants how to:

• Comply with the new Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) standards relating to pain medication range orders and titration.

• Integrate the Joint Commission’s "Speak Up" campaign into your patient education initiatives. The groundbreaking program encourages patients to become active, involved, and informed participants on the health care team.

• Develop a performance measurement system to evaluate the effectiveness of pain management and continually monitor and improve outcomes.

• Avoid documentation deficiencies and staff complacency that can derail your pain management program.

"Hospitals must have a systemwide standard of care for pain management that will reduce patient suffering from preventable pain," Spath says. "Failure to meet this standard of care can result in a Type I recommendation from JCAHO. But more important, inadequate pain management will undermine patients’ confidence in the quality of care provided by your health care facility." A Type I recommendation would require your health care organization to resolve insufficient or unsatisfactory pain management standards compliance in a specified amount of time to maintain your accreditation.

Federal regulators are turning up the heat on needle safety compliance, increasing inspections and issuing more than a million dollars in fines in less than a year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) dramatically has stepped up enforcement of needle safety provisions. Between July 2001 and May 2002, OSHA issued 1,876 citations for those who still haven’t gotten the message that needle safety is now the law of the land. These facilities were slapped with $1.3 million in fines, and only about 20% of the inspections were prompted by an employee complaint.

With random visits a possibility, you need to know the latest regulatory information to ensure you can pass muster with OSHA while protecting your employees and patients. Sharps Safety Compliance: How to Avoid OSHA Citations and Costly Fines is slated for Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2:30-3:30 p.m., ET. Our program will feature practical handouts and guidance along with the answers to some of your most pressing questions. OSHA expert Katherine West, BSN, MSEd, CIC, veteran infection control consultant at Infection Control/Emerging Concepts in Manassas, VA, will review the latest OSHA requirements and give you the inside tips necessary to pass any future inspection with flying colors. Bruce E. Cunha, RN, MS, COHN, manager of health and safety at Marshfield (WI) Clinic, has 24 years working experience on the front lines of occupational health and safety. He will provide vital insight on what practitioners can do to ensure safety for clinical procedures for which there are currently no safety needles available.

Educational programs for hospital staff at all levels can ensure that sound pain management and sharps safety standards are understood and put into practice. To sign up for either conference, call (800) 688-2421 and mention effort code 62751 for pain management and 62761 for sharps safety. The facility fee for each program is $299, which includes free CE for pain management and free CE or CME for sharps safety. Also included with each conference package are program handouts and additional reading, a convenient 48-hour replay, and a conference CD. If you sign up for both audio conferences, your cost is only $500. That’s a $100 discount. Don’t miss out. Educate your entire facility for one low fee.