Audio conferences tackle critical compliance issues

Heath 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 (AHC) 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, RHIT, and Michelle H. Pelling, MBA, RN, will teach participants how to:

  • Comply with the new Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization 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," says Spath. "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.

This audio conference is a must for hospital nursing directors and staff nurses, pharmacists, pain management team members, quality directors, risk mangers, accreditation/compliance directors, patient educators, case managers, ED managers/nurses, same-day surgery managers, and home health managers.

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.

Emboldened by new federal laws, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) dramatically has stepped up enforcement of needle safety provisions. In a flurry of activity between July 2001 and May 2002, OSHA issued a staggering 1,876 citations for those who still haven’t gotten the message that needle safety now is the law of the land. These unfortunate facilities were slapped with $1.3 million in fines, and contrary to popular belief, only about 20% of the expensive 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, 2002, from 2:30-3:30 p.m., eastern time, 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.

This conference is critical information for infection control professionals, employee health professionals, ED managers, physicians, nurses, risk managers, compliance directors, case managers, home health professionals, and same-day surgery managers.

Educational programs for hospital staff at all levels can ensure that sound pain management and sharps safety standards are understood and put into practice throughout your facility. To sign up for either conference, call AHC at (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.