The Federation of American Hospitals criticized the Joint Commission for not using National Quality Forum-endorsed practices for three of the commissions six proposed 2008 patient-safety goals. In a Jan. 24 letter, the federation objected to requirements that hospitals investigate and initiate planning for the use of certain health information technology; screen for obstructive sleep apnea prior to surgical procedures; and adopt procedures to prevent catheter and tubing misconnections. Rick Croteau, the Joint Commissions executive director for patient-safety initiatives, said the accrediting agency makes every effort to harmonize its goals with those of the NQF, but that the groups work on different timelines. The Joint Commission updates its list of patient-safety goals each year, while the NQF typically takes three years before it adds to its endorsed practices. The bottom line is, we would not discount a potential safety goal simply because it has not yet arrived on NQFs desk, he said. -- by Matthew DoBias
Federation, Joint Commission jockey
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