Accreditation

Aligning patients' rights standards with CMS CoPs

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, March 1, 2008

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Editor's note: This feature explores problematic Joint Commission standards with expert advice from BOJ advisors. This month's edition is written by Jodi Eisenberg, MHA, CPMSM, CPHQ, program manager of accreditation and clinical compliance at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Although the restraint and seclusion standards have been in place for quite some time, a large percentage of hospitals continue to receive RFIs related to one or more of the EPs. With the 2007 revisions to the CMS Conditions of Participation (CoP) for patients' rights, there is no longer alignment between The Joint Commission and CMS. Both requirements are fairly clear in that they outline the rights of all patients. All patients have a right to be free from physical or mental abuse and corporal punishment and free from restraint or seclusion in any form when they are imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff members. The focus of restraints or seclusions should be on the safety of the patient, staff members, and others.

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