Joint Commission will require hospitals to report percentage of newborns with unexpected complications

Beginning Jan. 1, the Joint Commission will require hospitals to identify the percentage of infants with unexpected newborn complications among full-term newborns who do not have pre-existing conditions.

The new requirement, called PC-06 Unexpected Complications in Term Newborns, will add to the organization's five measures required for Joint Commission-accredited hospitals that have at least 300 live births annually. Hospitals seeking perinatal care certification from the Joint Commission will also have to report PC-06.

"While measures have been developed to assess clinical practices and outcomes in preterm infants, the Joint Commission has identified a lack of metrics that specifically assess health outcomes of term infants who represent more than 90 percent of all births," the organization said. "PC-06 is designed to address the metrics gap and gauge adverse outcomes resulting in severe or moderate morbidity in otherwise healthy term infants without pre-existing conditions."

The Joint Commission recently approved requirements for hospitals to avoid misidentifying newborns after delivery by requiring hospitals to use distinct naming systems and identification tools for newborns. Earlier this year, the organization also approved standards to improve the identification of mothers at risk for transmitting infectious diseases to their newborns near delivery time.

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