Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, July 2017

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, July 5, 2017

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CMS updates transparency and termination notices; Ex-Joint Commission exec calls for fairness in how hospitals are held to standards

This April, CMS sent out a memo with big proposals for accrediting organizations (AO). If passed, The Joint Commission, DNV, HFAP, and others would have to post final survey reports online within 90 days of that information becoming available to the healthcare organization.
However, there are concerns that this move creates an uneven playing field in hospital quality and oversight. It’s also argued that the public might have trouble deciphering the contents of the report.

Navigating the laws and benefits of telemedicine

This is the first year that all 50 states have adopted some form of telemedicine coverage. Telemedicine is the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients using an audiovisual platform—a doctor’s appointment over Skype, remotely monitoring a patient’s vitals, messaging pictures of rashes and illnesses, etc. And while certain issues will still require an in-person examination (e.g., setting a broken arm), the field is opening several new options for treatment.

Because telemedicine is still so new, the laws pertaining to it have yet to keep pace with the technology. The rules surrounding telemedicine vary greatly between states, and wading through the list of best practices and guidelines can be difficult. So why should hospitals set up a telemedicine program? And what do they need to navigate the disparate laws and regulations around telemedicine?

Holding hospitals for ransom; The WannaCry virus and the lack of cybersecurity in hospitals

Over the course of one weekend in May, more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries were held hostage by a ransomware virus called “WannaCry.” The virus locked down computer systems and forced hospitals, corporations, universities, and individuals to pay $300 apiece in Bitcoin to regain access to their files. One of the most notable victims of WannaCry was the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS). About one-fifth of NHS trusts (which oversee British hospitals) were affected, forcing them to reroute ambulances, postpone surgeries, and cancel appointments.

While American hospitals were mostly unaffected by this particular attack, there has been a worrying jump in successful ransomware attacks in the U.S.

Q&A: Changes to Joint Commission maintenance standards and AEMs

This is an edited Q&A from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation’s (AAMI) webinar, “Clarifying the Changes to Joint Commission and CMS Standards.” The webinar talked about the changes to The Joint Commission’s maintenance standards, which no longer differentiate between inspecting high-risk and non-high-risk devices for an alternative equipment management (AEM) program. The speakers for the event were George Mills, MBA, FASHE, CEM, CHFM, CHSP, Joint Commission director of engineering, and Stephen Grimes, FACCE, FAIMBE, FHIMSS, managing partner and principal consultant for Strategic Healthcare Technology Associations, LLC.

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