Infection Control Standard is 2017's "Most Challenging" for Joint Commission-Accredited Ambulatory Healthcare Organizations

By on 6:04 AM

An infection control standard was the most challenging for Joint Commission-accredited ambulatory healthcare (AHC) organizations in 2017, according to an Ambulatory Buzz report.

Standard IC.02.02.01 — The organization reduces the risk of infections associated with medical equipment, devices and supplies. — came in first on The Joint Commission's annual list of the top 10 challenging standards for its AHC customers, with a reported 60% non-compliance. It was the only standard on the list exceeding 50% non-compliance. This standard saw an increase in non-compliance in 2017, up from 53% in 2016.

Also on the list, and coming in seventh with 36% non-compliance: IC.02.01.01 — The organization implements infection prevention and control activities. This standard did not even make the list of 2016 top 10 challenging standards.

Rounding out the top three for 2017 were #2: MM.03.01.01 (The organization safely stores medications) with 49% non-compliance.) and #3: HR.02.01.03 (The organization grants initial, renewed or revised clinical privileges to individuals who are permitted by law and the organization to practice independently.) with 47% non-compliance.

The standards compliance data used to put together the 2017 top 10 list were derived from an average of 695 applicable surveys.

Commentary from the Field

Since January 2018, Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS) has been inundated with a growing number of requests from accredited outpatient centers that have received infection prevention- and control-related citations, particularly for failing to meet "best practices," including those associated with medical equipment, devices and supplies. For the past several years, ICCS consultants have seen a considerable increase in requests from facilities for assistance with reprocessing failures. The requests have increased further this year. The reasons for failure of facilities to adhere to standards are multi-factorial. ICCS will address them in an upcoming special report. To receive notification of this report's publication, sign up for the free ICCS Newsletter.

ICCS provides the ongoing service of implementation of planned infection prevention and control activities and practices included in the overall development of an infection prevention program for facilities that are either cited for failing to meet these standards or when facilities are proactive and request these services ahead of an upcoming survey.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.