Patient safety is one of the major concerns for health care service providers and the organizations like JCAHO that deal with ensuring proper treatment standards are being presented to patients (Longo, Hewett, Ge, Schubert, and Kiely, 2007, p. 188). The issues of patient education and safe use of medications are also included in the concept of patient safety (Miller & Capps, 1997, p. 55). However, special importance in this respect is rightfully attributed to the issue of surveillance, prevention and control of infection (IC) as expressed in standards IC 1.10 and IC 2.10 of JCAHO (Health Evaluation, 2010).
JCAHO Standards IC 1.10 and IC 2.10
Specific Standards Identified
The standards compliance with which allows hospitals to get the JCAHO accreditation are titled IC 1.10 and IC 2.10. These standards deal with what an organization should do to control and avoid infections in patients and how it should do it. IC 1.10 standard states that JCAHO accreditation is given to a hospital in which “the risk of development of a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is minimized through an organization-wide infection control program”, while according to IC 2.10 standard “the infection control program identifies risks for the acquisition and transmission of infectious agents on an ongoing basis” (Health Evaluation, 2010).
Evidence of Conformance
The conformance, or non-conformance, of a hospital to the above-identified and referenced JCAHO standards is manifested by the performance of a hospital in various areas of activity. In particular, for a hospital to prove its conformance to IC 1.10 and IC 2.10 standards, the hospital should, first of all, present the officially adopted program for control of infection development. Most importantly, the hospital should provide evidence of the program being effectively used in the form of statistics of infection occurrences before the program implementation and in progress; patient satisfaction levels; and specific measures like sterility control, proper patient education, and medication use practices (Anonymous, 2002, p. 419; Wanzer, 2005, p. 472).
Departmental Joint Work
Accordingly, to ensure that a hospital can prove that its operations are in full conformance to the JCAHO IC 1.10 and IC 2.10 standards, all departments of the hospital should cooperate for the joint goal. More specifically, every department should adopt the hospital’s infection control program and account regularly for the activities completed according to this program (Longo, Hewett, Ge, Schubert, and Kiely, 2007, p. 188). At the same time, the hospital management should monitor the infection control program implementation through surveys and its special representatives directed to every single hospital department (Miller & Capps, 1997, p. 55; Anonymous, 2002, p. 419; Health Evaluation, 2010).
So, the whole above presented discussion allows concluding that the issue of surveillance, prevention and control of infection (IC) is critically important for the performance of any hospital that tries to provide high-quality services and get the JCAHO accreditation. The latter’s standards IC 1.10 and IC 2.10 regulate the practices and policies that hospitals should implement in order to be acknowledged as health care facilities in which infection control and prevention are the pillars of high-quality health care services and patient safety. The joint and coordinated work of all the departments of the hospital is one of the basic conditions that allow the hospital to manifest its IC 1.10 and IC 2.10 conformance.
Anonymous. (2002). JCAHO’s new medication use standards will sharpen safety focus, require more detail. The formulary, 37(8), 419, 4 pgs.
Health Evaluation. (2010). Infection Control Program Components. Web.
Longo, D., Hewett, J., Ge, B., Schubert, S., and Kiely, R. (2007). Hospital Patient Safety: Characteristics of Best-Performing Hospitals. Journal of Healthcare Management, 52(3), 188 – 204.
Miller, B., & Capps, E. (1997). Meeting JCAHO patient-education standards. Nursing Management, 28(5), 55, 4 pgs.
Wanzer, L. J. (2005). Implementing National Patient Safety Goal 3: Association of Operating Room Nurses. AORN Journal, 82(3), 471, 473 – 4.