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New JCAHO standards coming


The good news is JCAHO is finally getting it that keeping utility doors closed and documenting monotonous restraint forms does not make for patient safety. They are starting a pilot program to monitor medication errors, as well as other indicators.

The bad news is, at my small hospital, the nurses do NOT fill out medication errors as they should. Partly from not having the time, partly from the sour feeling of reporting an error on a colleague who was overburdened, partly from there being no harm to the patient, etc.

It's going to be a battle convincing nurses to leave a paper chase.

OC_An Khe

Specializes in Critical Care,Recovery, ED.

Anything that creates more work for already overburdened nurses will not be well received. It will make the change process even more difficult. Curious as to how JAHCO comes up with these standards and whether they pilot the documentation required in real hospital during real time. How much staff nursing input do they actually receive and ask for.

There is no doubt in my mind that standards are created by people who have never walked in a nurse's Birkenstocks, i.e., the documenting of restraints. What it boils down to is just another piece of paper that has to be filled out at the end of shift. It's unrealistic. And unless we have one-to-one nursing, there will always be falls. Patients will try to walk alone and they will fall out of bed; we can't be there every minute. The ones we have to really concentrate on are the ones that we actually can prevent - the ones that occur when we're doing care. We need to have adequate help and use good judgement about how many it's going to take to safely do a bath or move a heavy stroke victim to a chair. I believe most medication errors occur because we are rushed, and unfortunately, many are still occurring because of poor handwriting, and sometimes inaccurate interpretation of ambiguously written orders. We really, really need nurses who are actually working and not just managing to be advisors for these standards. Even then, they will not work for every facility or specialty or even geographical region. They should be short, concise, clear and above all just guidelines with real, attainable goals. Thank you.

I'm not interpreting the article as the 2 responses above are. I'm reading that the INDICATORS for poor staffing are falls, med. errors, etc. The more a hospital shows, the more JCAHO will site that hospital for poor staffing.


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