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Posts tagged ‘Joint Commission’

Joint Commission: Ensuring Highest Pediatric Care Standards Through Safer Medication

Wrong drug administration or a drug mix up can cause serious harm to the health of the patient. The risk increases manifolds, if the patient happens to be a child. A baby, kid or grown up child are at high risk from wrong drug administration and it is of utmost importance for the healthcare facility to follow the stringent Joint Commission laws specially created for this purpose.

Children at Higher Risk to Faulty Medication

When it comes to medication errors the children are at a greater risk and face more harm to their health than adults due to following reasons.

  • The drugs are generally formulated and concentrated keeping in mind the needs of the adult patients. For pediatric patients the drug dosage is altered to suit the needs of the children and this is where errors creep in.
  • Most of the healthcare settings are designed to handle the adult patients and generally lack the pediatric handling capabilities to address the medical needs of the children,exposing them to risks of drug complications.
  • As the children cannot communicate effectively about the side effects of the drug the medical staff does not get the feedback, which it can get from an adult patient. As a result it becomes difficult to mitigate the side effects due to wrong medication.
  • Lack of proper documentation and communication gap during the change of shift, admission, discharge or transfer of the child patient from one hospital to other is one other major reason of pediatric drug complication.

Employing Joint Commission Strategies

As the harm to the children due to faulty medication is more pronounced, the Joint Commission has several rules in place and at same time suggests newer practices with the sole objective to protect the children from drug complications.

  • The health facility should follow a standardized pediatric drug formulation policy and place stringent quality checks to ensure the right the dosage concentration before it is administered to the patient.
  • The medical staff should be trained to administer oral medicines by oral syringes and thus prevent their administration through venous route.
  • The medics should communicate effectively with parent on how to maintain the same level of drug dosage after discharge of the child from health facility as a part of continued treatment and recovery.
  • To prevent mix up of dosage concentration, the adult drugs should be kept separate from the pediatric preparations. Further wherever possible commercially available pediatric specific formulation should be used.
  • All pediatric patients should be weighed in kilograms and the requisite dosage of the drug should be administered according to the weight.
  • Pediatric experts and pharmacist should be assigned to the child care unit to oversee medication process and at same time guide the medical staff on how to follow the requisite safety standards for pediatric care.
  • High risk medications should be given in minimum required dosage strength and frequency to protect child from associated side effects.
  • The nurses, paramedics and the pharmacist should be well trained in use of specialized pediatric equipments.
  • The Joint Commission requires the health care facilities to employ continuous monitoring of the child under sedation, through pulse oxyimetry to prevent over sedation and its fatal consequences.

In the end the Joint Commission lays stress on building a proper communication channel between the caregiver or parents with the doctors or nurses to ensure that all the information about the medication procedure of the child is well understood by the parents. As a part of extended treatment in the home, the parents should clearly understand the dosage concentration, timing, route of delivery and the side effects associated with drugs. This will ensure that the child is protected from the drug overdose or complication even when he or she is at home, recovering from the illness, after being discharged from the health facility.

Joint Commission regulations protect children from faulty medication.

Jason Gaya

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Joint Commission: Enhancing Patient Safety through Better and Safer Management of Medication.

Wrong medication is a worrisome issue that haunts the healthcare facilities around the world. Improper medication procedures lead to unsafe drug mix up or drug overdose, which exposes the patient to risk of drug complications and at same time increases the cost of treatment. The Joint Commission strives to make the medication procedure as safe as possible by encouraging safe practices. The prime objective is to eliminate the medication errors, which can occur during the course of patient´s admission, transfer, treatment or discharge.

Joint Commission strives to enhance the patient´s safety through inclusion of following safe practices into the medication procedure with the sole purpose to eliminate or drastically reduce the risk to patient´s life due to drug complications.

Involve Patient in the Treatment

The idea is make the patient central figure in the medication procedure. The patient should be allowed to speak openly about the treatment and his or her views should be taken into account. Further medical history, allergies and drugs that induce adverse reactions in patient should be taken into account while prescribing the drugs. This is a crucial feedback, which should guide the medical staff to treat the patient successfully without putting his or her life at risk due drug complication, at any stage of the treatment. The patient should be made aware of drugs prescribed and how they will help them in their recovery. Any doubts pertaining to the drugs should be clarified so that they can use the drug properly and at same time understand the resultant side effects.

Maintain Proper Medication Documentation

The hospital on admission should check the past medical records and take into the consideration the present requirement before prescribing any medication. It should maintain a detailed record of daily dosage administered, the delivery route and patient´s allergies. Specific care should be taken while administering high risk medicines, which if wrongly administered, can seriously threaten the life of the patient. Further during discharge or transfer to another health service provider, the prescribed medication and the frequency of use should be verified so that no drug complications occur.

Involve a Pharmacist.

There are many drugs that are available in the market, which have similar names but are used for different purposes. Any mix up due to wrong communication in form of bad writing or lack of proper drug knowledge can put the health of patient at risk. The availability of increasing numbers of newer drugs in the market makes it difficult for the doctors to keep themselves updated. This compromises the patient safety. The best way out, is to involve a pharmacist in the medication process as the doctors can have extra pair of sharper and trained eyes that can easily eliminate the medication errors and ensure patient safety.

Double Check the Medication Procedure

There should be an independent entity that crosschecks the whole medication procedure of the patient right from the prescription to actual administration of the drug to the patient. This extra safeguard helps to filter out the errors that might still exist in the medication procedure no matter how well it has been followed by the medical staff. This is a key security feature, which effectively removes any shortcoming that might have been overlooked or crept into medication procedure due to human lapse.

The prime objective of Joint Commission here, is to create a medication procedure, which encourages patient participation and at same time places stringent checks to root out any existing discrepancies in the medication procedure so that patient is protected from drug complications.

Safer Medication procedure protects patient from drug complications.

Jason Gaya

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Joint Commission: Adopting the Right Approach to Eradicate Disruptive Behavior from the Health Care System.

The Joint commission has laid down rules and regulations to deal with disruptive behavior of the healthcare workers. The purpose is to control unprofessional behavior from the nurses, doctors, technician and other healthcare workers by issuing sanctions against them, so that it does not create unsafe conditions for the patient.

But doubts have been raised about credibility of the rules in function properly in an unbiased manner. This is because they can be misused by anybody who wields power and authority, to settle a personal score with fellow team member. Further mere implementation of stricter rules will not be enough to control this problem. The lack of trust about administration’s ability fairly to sanction any erring medic might deter the staff member to report abusive behavior, violation, safety lapse, which might seriously undermine the safety of patient.

Instead, a more creative approach, which analyses the root cause of this problem and encourages the use of social influence to improve the overall healthcare atmosphere should be taken. The Joint Commission regulations along with social influence can provide the right solution to this problem of disruptive behavior, which is on rise in the healthcare industry. The basic idea is to make the team members to interact with each other, understand their problems and strive to solve them through a collective discussion. This all can be done by following these steps:

  • The healthcare or hospital administration should accept the responsibility of the abusive incidents whenever they occur, instead of ignoring them. This acknowledgement will provide a greater visibility to the underlying problems and address them effectively.
  • The administration should encourage the staff member to speak up against any disruptive behavior that impedes or threatens the patient care. Instead of maintaining silence, the healthcare worker should speak up against any form of incompetence, violation of safety mistakes and abusive behavior of his or her co-worker.
  • The administration should back any worker who points out any violation and take appropriate steps to sanction the person who has resorted to abusive behavior with the patient or other staff member and in process seriously undermined the safety of the patient. Instead of ignoring, the nurse managers or administrators should respond to escalations effectively through sanctions, so such an act is not repeated by the erring medic in the future.
  • Finally the management should educate the medical staff through training programs on how to effectively use the power of social influence to neutralize escalations at workplace. The aim is to bridge the communication gaps and make the team a closely knit unit so that it enhances patient safety.

The Joint Commission regulations pertaining to disruptive behavior and social influence should form the backbone of the two pronged approach to effectively deal with this growing menace in the healthcare industry and ensure protection of the patient from abuse due to disruptive behavior.

The social influence should be used to effectively counter disruptive behavior at healthcare facility.

Jason Gaya

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Health Conferences in Sept. – Oct.

Health Conferences are the best place for knowledge and Networking.

Short Intro To emPower e-Learning.

emPower provides Regulatory Compliance solutions for hospitals and healthcare organizations through Learning Management System (LMS). Learning Management system is an excellent vehicle that lets you deliver, track and manage training/education.

emPower offers courses to stay in compliance with standards set by regulatory bodies such as HIPAA, OSHA, Joint Commission and Red Flags Rule etc. Our parent company Mediscribes, Inc. is a top notch medical transcription provider offering comprehensive medical transcription services and document management system to hospitals and physician practices.           

emPower and Mediscribes would be visible to you at various conferences in the month of September – October, 2009.

GEMMS User Group Conference Indianapolis, Indiana on September 16-18 2009. This conference addresses anyone who uses the GEMMS ONE system – physicians, administrative, clinical, practice management, and IT personnel to learn, network, and share information. At the conference you would find emPower and Mediscribes displaying their various products and solution – comprehensive Healthcare compliance solutions through Learning Management System covering HIPAA, OSHA, HR policies, Red Flags rule training packages, etc. Also, Mediscribes that deals with high end Medical Transcription service would displays its deep insights on web-based electronic medical transcription service for hospitals, clinics, individual and group practices and rehabilitation centers.

Another exciting conference followed in the next week would be MedAxiom conference in Monarch Beach, CA, September 23 – September 25, 2009. MedAxiom is one of the most valuable resources and a comprehensive subscription-based service provider for cardiology practices. MedAxiom conference keeps members informed of changing technologies, trends, strategies and best practices in cardiology-practice administration and service delivery. Cardioscribes is Mediscribes’ extended hand that aces in providing high quality Cardiology Transcription services; it delivers robust document management system that allows Cardiology practices to capitalize on their patient documentation. Cardioscribes ensures consolidated end-to-end transcription solution that lets you around 25 – 35% lower cost than what cardiology practices incurs.

emPower / Mediscribes would also be visiting 81st AHIMA Convention and Exhibit at Gaylord Texon Resort & Convention Center, Grapevine TX in the month of October 3-8, 2009.

AHIMA 2009 convention will feature education and networking opportunities to a wide spectrum of professionals, from entry-level to middle and senior management, and also in areas like information systems.

Cutting-edge technology that provides cost-effective and end to end solution to meet your medical transcription needs ensuring high quality standards. You would be pleased to see product presentation and live demos of all our e-learning solution – healthcare compliance training, HIPAA training, HR policies, Red Flags Rule regulation education, JCAHO and OSHA Training packages.

Last but not least – MGMA 2009 Annual Conference Denver in the month of October 11th – 14th 2009. MGMA’ 2009 Annual conference is the largest professional development and networking conference for medical practice administrators. The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) 2009 Annual Conference will help you to know what’s going on with HEALTH CARE Reform and how it will impact your business in the near future. In addition to transcription service provided by Cardioscribes and Mediscribes also presents Health care practices with dictation and transcription work-flow systems, software development, EMR interface and voice recognition integration. Besides, this you could also find emPower elearning solutions with broad collection of e-learning, e-reference and blended learning that drive business results. Our online courses cover compliance solutions and Human resource policies effectively covering full range of business needs.

I’m really excited and look forward to meet so many people and companies. 

You could find me at Mediscribes / Cardioscribes / emPower exhibition booth.

Looking forward to see YOU there


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