The Antidote

Counterspin for Health Care and Health News

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Joint Commission

Over at Paul Levy's blog, Running a Hospital, an enlightening, frank discussion of the accrediting organization's role in patient safety and quality improvement. It includes an excerpt from a Boston Globe article that consists of a memo from the CEO of another hospital, Mass. General, to that hospital's staff in response to recent Joint Commission findings, and another of the commenters notes how, even though these proposed "duh" solutions seem so obvious, they're actually quite difficult to implement, and often require culture change.

I agree, and this isn't just nihilism or whining. For example, just because everyone supposedly knows that they're supposed to wash their hands between each patient encounter, it's not going to happen immediately, and the hospital has to play an active role in making it easier for staff to remember and providing more convenient, usable handwashing facilities.


At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Emily. Lots of good comments on that posting, too, and I welcome other people joining in -- whether here or there.

At 2:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read all the wonderful things that your organization claims it does, there is one area which I find impossible to believe. It is my understanding that no matter what medical care professionals try to tell your organization, you threaten health care facilities with closure if there are any restraints used on patients that clearly need them. I know for a fact that there are patients that are severely injured because of your "no restraints" policy. A member of my family had a massive stroke and his mind was effected. Due to no restraints he has broken his hip twice, split his face wide open and has fallen numerous times causing other injuries. He was put in a special bed which allowed him to move around at will but did not allow him to get out of bed. He was in a low bed when he broke his hip. He does not mentally remember at times that he cannot walk well enough to get up by himself. He is now being taken out of the safe bed and again being put in a low bed. HE WILL INJURE HIMSELF AGAIN. He will then be confined to bed and will have to stay there for months like the last time. Even then, if he is in a low bed he will continue to re-injure himself. A policy of absolutely no restraints or your hospital will be closed is ludicrous. No policy can apply to everyone or every situation. I believe that the caregivers know what is best for their patients and that Jayco should work with the physicians and staff of hospitals to see to the safety of patients. Jayco should not have a "no restraints" policy that is not flexible. Patients are injuring themselves at an alarming rate because of your policy. I do not think that is seeing to the safety of helpless patients, just the opposite. Maybe your rule makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but for these helpless people and their families it is a travesty.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

I'll let your comment stand, but just so you know, I don't represent the Joint Commission, nor does Paul Levy.


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