Physician Practice

Reviewing the new NPSG for critical access hospitals

Medical Environment Update, February 28, 2020

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by Ernest E. Allen, ARM, CSP, CPHRM, CHFM

The Joint Commission issued a National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) for critical access hospitals (CAH) that becomes effective on July 1, 2020. This article reviews the importance of NPSG.15.01.01, element of performance (EP) 1, which has two separate sections with a very important difference.

Designated psychiatric units

The first section is for psychiatric distinct part units, which should be rare in a 25-bed CAH. If there is a designated psychiatric unit or room, then the hospital must make all modifications necessary to minimize the risk of ligature risks.

The examples noted in EP 1 are removal of anchor points, door hinges, and hooks used for hanging. However, there are many more ligature risks, including but not limited to:

  • Door handles
  • Exposed plumbing in bathrooms

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Medical Environment Update.

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