Joint Commission introduces new survey terminology

Accreditation Connection, March 1, 2010

At recent site visits, the Joint Commission has been using the term "observed but corrected on-site" or (OCO), leaving many facilities confused as to what this means, according to HealthLeaders Media.

The Joint Commission has described OCO deficiencies as having the following characteristics:

  • Correcting these deficiencies does not require organizational planning or forethought
  • They are easily corrected, posing no significant threat to safety
  • For forms, adding missing elements or pieces of information that would not affected the process(es)
  • Policy does not follow practice; policy changed to match practice

An example of what an OCO item looks like is:

  • Immediately disposing of a multi-dose vial that was not dated
  • Disposing of an expired quality control test strip immediately
  • Missing dates for logs. If, for example, refrigerator logs are missing a few dates, but temperatures before and after missing dates are within range and no patterns or trends observed.

For more information on the Joint Commission's new terminology, click here.

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