We hope you find the following resources helpful for your ongoing compliance with TJC and CMS requirements. We have included articles from the current issue of our newsletter as well as access to our newsletter archives and useful Industry Links for Behavioral Healthcare.

To read articles written prior to January 2015, please view our Newsletter Archive.

 

The topic of ligature risks in inpatient psychiatric settings has been a significant challenge for the industry over the past several months following TJC’s increased scrutiny of this issue since March 1. The latest development is that TJC has now published official recommendations on ligature risks in healthcare settings. These Recommendations Regarding Environmental Hazards for Providers and Surveyors were released in a preview communication on October 25 and subsequently published in the November issue of TJC Perspectives. As part of this communication, TJC has formally defined the term “ligature resistant.”
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A significant topic of interest at the annual TJC Behavioral Healthcare Conference in Chicago this month was the new requirements going into effect in January 2018 related to outcomes measurement. These requirements apply to organizations and programs surveyed under the Behavioral Healthcare Accreditation Manual. The relevant standard is CTS.03.01.09 in the BH manual.
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A hot topic at the annual Behavioral Healthcare Conference in Chicago this month was TJC’s update on how they are surveying ligature risks in psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric units of med/surg hospitals. As our readers know from our newsletter articles and their own experiences, the findings in this area have been ramping up for the past six months.
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As we know, there is an intense focus now during TJC surveys on compliance with the CMS CoP for Special Medical Records Requirements for Psychiatric Hospitals, i.e. the B Tags. During surveys, there is a session devoted to the review of a sample of medical records for compliance with the specific requirements listed in B Tags 113 and 116. One area that is frequently found noncompliant these days is documentation of the mental status exam.
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The Behavioral Health Care Accreditation manual has undergone some revisions over the past several months as part of TJC’s Standards Review Project. The final round of changes is now complete and will be effective January 2018.
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The surveying of ligature risks in psychiatric hospitals has almost taken on a life of its own over the past four months. In follow-up to our June article on ligature risks, we’re providing some timely feedback from clients about how this issue has been reviewed during recent surveys. We’ve had six psychiatric hospital clients surveyed since the March 1 announcement from TJC on this topic, and the scrutiny on it has been intense. Here’s a summary of the issues cited for the four hospitals.
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If you are a psychiatric hospital anticipating a TJC survey, it’s important to know the details of how TJC is currently surveying ligature risks. They recently provided an update for the field on this topic in follow-up to their March 2017 communication on the scoring of ligature, suicide and self-harm risks. Here are some highlights from this most recent update.
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Twenty-two percent of behavioral health organizations surveyed in 2016 received a survey finding related to competence assessment. Frequently, the finding relates to a staff person or contractor not having their clinical competence assessed by an individual qualified to do so. The relevant standard is HRM.01.06.01 EP 2 in the BH Manual and HR.01.06.01 EP 3 in the Hospital manual. Learn how this standard is typically reviewed by surveyors.
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Psychiatric hospitals that use TJC accreditation for CMS deemed status were the first organizations to experience the SAFER (Survey Analysis for Evaluating Risk) methodology starting in June 2016. TJC recently published six months of compliance data for these hospitals. Many of the Top Ten issues remain the same but it’s interesting to see how they play out on the SAFER matrix. Here’s some highlights from the TJC data and our own database.
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TJC began surveying to the 2012 edition of the National Fire Protection Life Safety Code in November 2016. Resulting changes to the Environment of Care and Life Safety standards went into effect January 2017. One of the changes that went into effect for both the Hospital and Behavioral Health programs is a new requirement for inspection of Exit signs. We are now seeing this issue arising on surveys so let’s clarify the requirement.
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