Are you Joint Commission Ready?

With less than a month left until 2010, MediClean wants to know if you are prepared for the New Year?With Health Care-Associated Infections (HAIs) being one of the leading causes of death and attributes to the financial burden of over $28 billion dollars a year in healthcare costs — safety protocols are undoubtedly on your mind.

Many of our healthcare organizations are highly regulated by OSHA, CDC, CMS, the State, and the Joint Commission.With this year’s recent H1N1 outbreak and the continued fight again HAIs and other Multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) it is only a matter of time before all healthcare organizations become just as regulated as our hospitals.

Depending on the organization, different interventions will be applied to fit their focus on reducing the spread of infections.However, there are a few guidelines and interventions that MediClean follows that are sure to help your organization be better prepared for the Joint Commission and insuring patient safety.

The first step is to set goals in your practice to minimize the possibility of transmission of infections.For example, one goal could be to limit unprotected exposure to pathogens throughout your practice and the transmission of infections associated with procedures and the use of equipment.

Once you have set these goals it is then time to implement them in your practice. A good intervention for limiting unprotected exposure to pathogens and the transmission of infections is to ensure that your laundry service and housekeeping are compliant with the same standards your organization is required to follow. Another intervention for this goal would be to improve your compliance in hand hygiene.

In order to stay in regulations with the Joint Commission you must comply with the current World Healthcare Organization (WHO) hand hygiene program or the CDC hand hygiene program. Many health care providers do not see the cause-and-effect relationship between properly washing your hands and preventing infection because of the delay between hand hygiene and emergence of an infection. According to the CDC the compliance rate in hand hygiene among staff in health care organizations ranges between 25%-50%. Therefore, another goal could be to improve compliance with your hand hygiene guidelines.Providing an intervention with your staff and patients that includes statistics, illustration connecting between hand hygiene and infection control may better your ratings.

The last step is to evaluate the effectiveness of your infection control processes. In order to see if the goals and implementations you set forth are really working you need to evaluate them.The Joint Commission will also want to see your results as will your administration.Evaluating your effectiveness can also help you in determining the best solutions for implementing your goals.

You should check the Joint Commissions web site ( for further details regarding all regulations pertaining to your healthcare organization. 2010 is going to bring Infection Control to a much needed new light in healthcare. Insuring your patients and employee’s safety regardless of the cost should be on the forefront of all our minds. Regardless of the type of infection, all diseases highlight the importance of being prepared; it is just whether you would rather pay the price tag of reacting to the infections instead of preventing them all together.

Article written by: Chanel Schonert, MediClean