During one of the ever-popular sessions at the American Society for Health Care Engineering annual conference, top TJC executives reviewed problems and solutions, and offered a rundown of what facility and compliance managers can look forward to during upcoming surveys.
All accreditation organizations as well as CMS are working on backlogs of surveys delayed by the public health emergency (PHE) declared in March. Waivers will no longer be allowed once that PHE is lifted. As many facilities have had their hands full with patient surges from COVID-19, the illness caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus, they’ll have work to do to ensure their environment of care is brought up to speed.
HFAP standards and certification requirements will stay the same and it will continue to operate under the HFAP name as a brand within ACHC, according to information released by both organizations October 20.
OSHA instructed compliance safety and health officers to exercise discretion in response to ongoing respirator shortages during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
In late August, the oldest of the accrediting organizations released its 2020 HFAP Quality Review, highlighting the problems and trends identified by surveyors during on-site visits in 2019 at acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, laboratories, and ambulatory surgery centers.
The approval provides another option for the nation’s more than 600 psychiatric hospitals, said Patrick Horine, president of DNV-GL, the only for-profit AO of the four authorized to accredit acute care hospitals overall. Unlike the others, DNV-GL surveys hospitals at least once every three years, as required by CMS, but then also visits hospitals in each off year to ensure they are maintaining patient safety.
Throughout the memo, CMS notes that surveys should resume primarily in areas that have entered the White House’s Phase 3 of reopening—which can vary from region to region—and that individual facilities can ask for delays if they are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Many surveys may still focus primarily on infection control and conditions that pose an immediate jeopardy to patients or staff, as they have throughout the PHE.
As in 2019, care management problems led the list of sentinel events. That same year, ,TJC grouped different categories together. The care management category,. including falls, delays in treatment and medication management errors.
The waivers modify or temporarily suspend certain CMS and HHS regulatory requirements as long as the PHE is ongoing. Hospitals, for instance, have used the blanket waivers to expand the use of telehealth, delay some testing and maintenance of non-critical systems, and use temporary facilities as ways to ease the financial and daily burden of meeting the surge of COVID-19 patients.
The last time TJC was renewed as a hospital AO was in 2014, for a six-year period. That ran out as of July 15, 2020. In a special filing in the July 15, 2020, Federal Register, CMS published a notice that TJC had been approved as a hospital AO through July 15, 2022.