JCAHO Update for Infection Control

JCAHO launches new patient safety center

Strong emphasis on IC on web

The Joint Commission has launched a new web-based patient safety initiative that continues its strong emphasis on infection control.

JCAHO’s International Center for Patient Safety web site (www.jcipatientsafety.org) is designed to serve as a central repository of resources and information related to all aspects of patient safety. Also, it’s aimed at both patients and health care workers.

“Our goal is to provide a wide spectrum of important patient safety information that is readily accessible and highly relevant,” says Peter Angood, MD, chief patient safety officer at the new center. “This site should also become a key resource for patients, their families, and the general public to help them understand the roles they can play in improving patient safety.”

The wealth of information on this web site should be valuable to health care professionals and to health care organization leaders who are seeking to implement recognized safety, quality and efficiency principles, he adds.

Infection control will be an obvious area of interest on the site, which debuted with a poll question regarding infection control challenges. (See related story, p. 74.) But overall, JCAHO is aiming at broad audience, with content aimed at patients, employers, physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, Angood says.

The site ultimately will provide a wide array of practical safety solutions that can be used to improve the safety and quality of patient care in a variety of health care environments. Those will include hospitals, outpatient clinics, physician offices, nursing homes, home care settings, behavioral health centers, and assisted-living facilities.

Health care organizations and health professionals will be able to use the center’s web site, for example, to find information on the most frequent types of reported sentinel events and their root causes; resources for understanding and meeting the National Patient Safety Goals; and Sentinel Event Alert newsletter recommendations. Patients and their families, as well as employers, will be able to use the center’s web site to obtain quality-related performance information on health care organizations or become familiar with public education campaigns on patient safety.

The web site also will become a focus of the center’s efforts to create a worldwide collaborative network of patient safety leadership organizations. Further, on-line discussion groups will provide an interactive forum for international dialogue on critical patient safety issues and topics.

The new web site is one of the first priority projects for the recently announced International Center for Patient Safety. Jointly sponsored by the Joint Commission and Joint Commission Resources (JCR), the center advocates for safety in health care through prompting the adoption of solutions that are based on sound scientific research, expert professional consensus opinion, and principles of multidisciplinary education.