20 Joint Commission actions in 2022

The Joint Commission issued sentinel events, released new guidance to improve patient safety, launched new certifications and more in 2022. 

Here are 20 moves from The Joint Commission Becker's has covered since January, starting with the most recent:

1. The Joint Commission on Nov. 30 launched a consumer education campaign to provide patients with information to help them make informed decisions about vaccines. 

2. In late November, the accrediting body updated its timeline for how often it will evaluate licensed practitioners' ability to provide care from two years to three.

3. Researchers have developed a list of 10 high-priority safety practices to help healthcare organizations address diagnostic errors, based on a comprehensive literature review and input from additional experts. The list of practices was published in the November issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

4. The Joint Commission on Oct. 26 launched a Health Care Equity Resource Center — which offers toolkits, hospital case studies and evidence-based interventions —  to help hospitals standardize processes to identify and address healthcare disparities.

5. The Joint Commission collaborated with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to launch an Advanced Certification in Perinatal Care certification on Oct. 20.

6. In October, The Joint Commission revised its sentinel event definition of sexual assault or abuse to include social media and related technology. 

7. The Joint Commission is conducting a review of all of its accreditation requirements that go "above-and-beyond" CMS requirements. 

8. Patient falls were the most common sentinel event reported among hospitals in the first six months of 2022, according to a Sept. 7 report from The Joint Commission.

9. The Joint Commission launched a new patient safety campaign that focuses on telehealth visits, the organization said Aug. 31.

10. In August, researchers from the accrediting body published a study that found some hospitals may classify admissions in a way that exempts them from elective-based patient safety indicator scores, or PSIs, leading to less reliable patient safety data. 

11. The patient safety group on July 12 issued a safety alert with recommended actions for hospitals to determine when palliative care would be more beneficial for seriously ill patients who may turn to emergency departments. 

12. In late June, The Joint Commission issued guidance to help prevent healthcare professionals from using packaged sterile supplies and devices that are expired or compromised. 

13. Reducing the risk of hospital-acquired infections was the most challenging compliance standard for hospitals in 2021, according to The Joint Commission. The organization identified the top five requirements for which hospitals were most frequently out of compliance, based on surveys and reviews. View them here

14. The Joint Commission on June 22 issued a sentinel event alert to turn more attention to the effects of diagnostic overshadowing — the attribution of symptoms to an existing diagnosis instead of a possible comorbid condition — and actions to address it. 

15. The Joint Commission and Association of periOperative Registered Nurses in June issued a statement urging surgical teams to not rush through safety "timeouts" as they tackle a backlog of surgeries postponed amid the pandemic.

16. The Joint Commission named Haytham Kaafarani, MD, as its new chief patient safety officer and medical director. He began his new role Sept. 6.

17. Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston partnered with the American Medical Association and The Joint Commission to create a learning network to help health systems conduct more equitable quality and patient safety work, the organizations said May 19. 

18. The Joint Commission and Alzheimer’s Association have partnered to improve the quality and safety of dementia care in nursing, skilled nursing, and assisted-living facilities, the organizations said March 10. The first part of the collaboration is an update of The Joint Commission’s memory care certification requirements, effective July 1. 

19. The number of serious patient safety incidents reported to The Joint Commission jumped in 2021, reaching the highest annual level seen since the accrediting body started publicly reporting them in 2007, according to a report shared with Becker's Feb. 22. View the 10 most frequently reported sentinel events in 2021 here

20. The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association launched the Comprehensive Heart Attack Center Certification program on Jan. 19 to advance care for the most complex and severely ill cardiac patients. The certification became available to all hospitals July 1.

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