Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Joint Commission Beefs Up Rules to Improve Patient Flow

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Joint Commission Beefs Up Rules to Improve Patient Flow

Article excerpt

The Joint Commission is putting 1 hospital leaders on notice that boarding in the emergency department requires a hospital-wide solution.

In performance standards that went into effect on Jan. 1, the Joint Commission is requiring hospitals to set specific goals to improve patient flow, which include ensuring the availability of patient beds and maintaining proper throughput in laboratories, operating rooms, inpatient units, telemetry, radiology, and the postanesthesia care unit. The standards specifically name the medical staff, the chief executive officer, and other senior hospital managers as having a responsibility to take action when patient flow goals are not met.

"We wanted to make sure that organizations were looking at patient flow hospital-wide, even if the manifestation of a flow problem seemed to be in the emergency room," said Lynne Bergero, project director in the division of health care quality evaluation at the Joint Commission.

"The emergency department isn't an island," she added, "so looking at how everything interrelates is going to produce better flow for patients overall and better outcomes for the patient in terms of not having as much boarding. …

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