Accreditation

Q&A: Joint Commission exec answers SAFER matrix questions

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, November 14, 2016

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Editor’s note: The following is an edited Q&A from The Joint Commission webinar “Survey Analysis for Evaluating Risk (SAFER)” with speaker Leslie Smith, MS, PM, business transformation leader at The Joint Commission and co-leader of the SAFER matrix initiative.

Summary: The Joint Commission unveiled the SAFER matrix in May, announcing that it would replace its scoring system of evaluating safety issues and findings. The matrix is a 3 x 3 grid with the Y-axis ranking the likelihood of a problem occurring and the X-axis measuring how widespread the issue is. Psychiatric hospitals have already started receiving SAFER matrices in their survey reports as of June. All other accredited facilities will receive SAFER matrices after January 1, 2017.

During the webcast, speaker Leslie Smith explained that the SAFER matrix was meant to simplify the finding process for facilities. Healthcare staff had reported trouble understanding all the different tags of the old scoring system tags; direct and indirect findings; Category A and Category C Elements of Performances (EP); Measures of Success (MOS); and risk icons. These tags required extensive work to keep up on, confused staff, and could be contradictory, she said, hence the decision to retire it.

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