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CMS Extends Time to Finalize Discharge Planning Proposal

By AJ Plunkett If you were expecting to implement the latest discharge planning revisions to the Medicare Conditions of Participation soon, you can breathe a little easier for now. CMS took the unusual step on October 30 of announcing a year’s time extension to publish the final rule. The extension runs through November 3, 2019. By federal regulation, such [...]

CMS Report: AOs missing fire safety and IC deficiencies during survey

Expect CMS to continue pressuring The Joint Commission (TJC) and other accrediting organizations (AO) to find more of the serious life safety, environment of care, and infection control issues the federal agency says they are still missing during surveys. In the newest report to Congress assessing AO performance, CMS says the overall disparity rate between serious problems identified [...]

This simple tool predicts readmission risk for heart attack patients

By Christopher Cheney, HealthLeaders Media A new risk model provides a simple and inexpensive way to determine whether acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients are at high risk for hospital readmission. The risk model, which is detailed in a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA), features seven variables that can be scored in as little as [...]

Go Vote!

Today is Election Day, and we here at HCPro want to encourage all our readers to get out and vote! The site below shows you where your local polling places are: www.vote.org/polling-place-locator    

Nurses Report Gaps in Quality and Safety Competencies Based on Education

By Jennifer Thew- HealthLeaders Media While quality and safety measures are key to delivering excellent nursing care, new graduate nurses are not always adequately prepared in these areas, reports a new study by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Educational preparation appears to be tied quality and safety competencies. The study found there is a growing gap in preparedness [...]

Hospitals Can Improve Their Infection Prevention Strategies, Study Finds

By Jay Kumar A new review of 144 studies found that healthcare-associated infections (HAI) can be reduced by as much as 55% through the implementation of evidence-based infection prevention and control strategies. Published in the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America’s (SHEA) journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the study points out that hospitals can do [...]

Patient Outcomes No Better For Joint Commission–Accredited Hospitals Than Peers

By John Commins Hospitals that earn certification by independent accreditors, such as The Joint Commission, have no better outcomes than hospitals reviewed by a state survey agency, according to a new report in the BMJ. “Furthermore, we found that accreditation by The Joint Commission, which is the most common form of hospital accreditation, was not associated with better patient outcomes than other [...]

Joint Commission Unveils New Emergency Management Checklist

On October 10, Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida, damaging at least two hospitals so badly they were forced to evacuate. On the same day, The Joint Commission (TJC) published a new Emergency Management Health Care Environment Checklist on its website, which helps healthcare organizations reopening their facilities after a disaster. While the timing of these two events [...]

Revisions deeming EPs

Starting January 1, five revisions to The Joint Commission’s Elements of Performance (EP) will go into effect. The revisions deal with the deeming in hospitals and critical access hospitals. The changes are a result of CMS’ review of The Joint Commission’s EP Review Project for the Leadership (LD) chapter. Some of the changes include specifying that [...]

Accreditation Book Survey 2019

We’re working on books for 2019 and like to hear from you. Please take this short survey and let us know what safety topics or updates you’d like us to write about! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QTRWX8H

Last Flu Season Led to 80,000 Deaths

Federal public health officials are urging everyone six months and older to get vaccinated against influenza in the wake of last winter’s severe flu season, which resulted in a record high of 900,000 hospitalizations and more than 80,000 deaths. “Last season illustrated what every public health official knows—influenza can be serious in people of all ages, [...]

Joint Commission Revises Scoring for IC Standard

The Joint Commission (TJC) announced scoring changes for its IC.02.02.01 standard, which requires facilities to reduce infection risk associated with medical equipment, devices, and supplies. The standard was included on TJC’s list of most-cited standards. In the latest post in its 4-1-1 on Survey Enhancements series, TJC focused on high-level disinfection and sterilization. Effective as of [...]

FDA warning on surgical fires

This summer, FDA issued an alert reminding healthcare professionals and facility staff of “factors that increase the risk of surgical fires on or near a patient.” The agency also recommended practices to reduce the occurrence of surgical fires, including “the safe use of medical devices and products commonly used during surgical procedures.” The alert is targeted [...]

Increased oversight means more pressure on AOs

Expect CMS to continue to put pressure on The Joint Commission (TJC) and other accrediting organizations (AO) to find more of the serious fire safety and infection control issues the federal agency says they are still missing during surveys. Also, you may find CMS surveyors showing up soon with your AO team. But they won’t be [...]

Executive Briefings: Joint Commission Surveyor Focus Remains on EC, LSC, Ligature Risks

Highlight the zip codes where employees live so you can have a handy reference of where staff is available in emergencies, keep policies consistent and updated with the most relevant references, and focus suicide prevention efforts on making your physical environment ligature-resistant. Those were some of the top takeaways for environment of care and other healthcare [...]

Revisions deeming EPs

Starting January 1, five revisions to The Joint Commission’s Elements of Performance (EP) will go into effect. The revisions deal with the deeming in hospitals and critical access hospitals. The changes are a result of CMS’ review of The Joint Commission’s EP Review Project for the Leadership (LD) chapter. Some of the changes include specifying that [...]

Be ready for surveyor focus on dialysis

Surveyors from CMS and The Joint Commission are taking an interest in dialysis compliance. Which means you should, too. Each year, 468,000 patients receive dialysis as treatment for end-stage renal disease (ESRD). A single procedure takes about several hours, during which a patient’s blood is filtered and cleaned inside their body (peritoneal dialysis) or outside [...]

Foreign Medical Graduate Commission Updates Identity Certification Process

NAMSS - Wed, 09/05/2018 - 00:05

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) recently announced an enhancement to their process for certifying the identities of applicants, beginning in mid-September 2018. The current Certification of Identification form (Form 186) will now be required to be completed online, using NotaryCom.com. NotaryCam is an online service that provides 24 hour access to professional notaries, allowing applicants to bypass the sometimes complicated and burdensome process of using a notary in person.
Additionally, the online Form 186 will now be a requirement for applicants as part of the Application for ECFMG Certification. This is required before submission of an application to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). All new Certification of Identity forms will require the online process, as well as expiring or invalidated forms. Currently, the Certification of Identity form lasts for five years from the accepted date. Find more details about the new process here.
The ECFMG is the standard for international medical graduates (IMGs) to be evaluated on their qualifications before entering the US graduate medical education (GME) process, or to take the USMLE and obtain a license to practice medicine in the US. ECFMG also provides application, visa, and verification assistance for IMGs. Learn more about the ECFMG at https://www.ecfmg.org/

Safety Standards Pose Problems for TJC-Accredited Hospitals

Safety-related requirements continue to plague hospitals, according to The Joint Commission’s latest list of most-cited standards data through the first six months of 2018. Released in the September issue of Perspectives, the data was aggregated from 676 applicable Joint Commission hospital surveys from January 1 through June 30. The top-cited standard is LS.02.01.35, related to providing and maintaining fire [...]

NAMSS Releases Position Statement on MOC

NAMSS - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 00:34

Maintenance of Certification (MOC), the program through which ongoing physician competence is demonstrated through American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and American Osteopathic Association (AOA) boards, has been controversial since its launch. As NAMSS members have heard, the ABMS has recently launched an initiative to reexamine MOC and provide recommendations for the future state of physician certification. NAMSS has engaged with this Vision Commission, with several NAMSS leaders participating in past meetings, and with other organizations to contribute the MSP perspective on this issue. As the issue has continued to affect MSPs directly and indirectly, NAMSS has released the following organizational statement on Maintenance of Certification.
The National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) supports efforts by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and stakeholders across the health care industry to re-envision the process of continuing board certification and the Maintenance of Certification programs. Demonstrating ongoing physician competence is an essential piece of maintaining patient safety, and is an important part of evaluating practitioners for credentialing and privileging decisions. Concerns around the existing continuing certification programs have led some states to propose or enact laws restricting their use in making these decisions, which infringes on the ability of Medical Services Professionals and Organized Medical Staffs to fulfill their duty in evaluating providers. However, physician burnout is an increasingly difficult issue as additional burdens are being placed on providers across the continuum of care.
Increased standardization, clarity of requirements, and reduced physician burden will all be integral parts of a modern, effective board certification program. NAMSS looks forward to the outcomes of the ABMS’ Vision for the Future Commission and to aiding in the evolution of board certification to best support our ultimate goal of patient safety.
NAMSS will continue to monitor the work of the ABMS Commission and other progress in the area of continuing physician education, and work to inform our MSPs about important developments. Find our position statement and others at the NAMSS website, and be on the lookout for further communications on this issue.

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