HCTW news brief: New survey terminology cropping up in Joint Commission visits

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, February 26, 2010

The term "observed but corrected on-site" has been cropping up in survey terminology in recent site visits, and has left some in the field confused.

What is an "observed but corrected on-site" (OCO) deficiency and how will it affect your survey? The Joint Commission says OCO deficiencies have 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 impact the process(es)
  • Policy does not follow practice; policy changed to match practice

If a deficiency is OCO, explains Elizabeth Di Giacomo-Geffers, RN, MPH, CSHA, a healthcare consultant in Trabuco Canyon, CA, and former Joint Commission surveyor, the surveyor will flag this item in the report for review in central office. If accepted, it will not count toward the total of RFIs; however, it stays in the report.

Source: HealthLeaders Media

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