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New Joint Commission Pain Standards Take Effect January 1, 2019

New Joint Commission Pain Standards Take Effect January 1, 2019

New and revised Joint Commission pain assessment and management standards will be effective January 1, 2019, for accredited ambulatory care facilities, critical access hospitals, and office-based surgery practices. These updates continue a Joint-Commission initiative that required new and revised pain assessment and management standards for accredited hospitals to be implemented beginning January 1, 2018.

As with the hospital standards, the new standards going into effect in 2019 are reflected in the Leadership; Medical Staff; Provision of Care, Treatment, and Services; and Performance Improvement chapters of The Joint Commission hospital accreditation manual.

Joint Commission pain assessment and management standards are designed to strengthen organizations’ practices for pain assessment, treatment, education, and monitoring. They were established based on literature review, public field review, and several expert panels.

Based on the new and revised standards, Joint Commission–accredited organizations will be required to do the following:

  • Provide staff and licensed independent practitioners with educational resources and programs to improve pain assessment, pain management, and the safe use of opioid medications based on the identified needs of their patient populations
  • Involve patients in developing their treatment plans and setting realistic expectations and measurable goals
  • Facilitate clinician access to prescription drug monitoring program databases
  • Conduct performance improvement activities focusing on pain management and safe prescribing to increase safety and quality for patients
  • Ensure that the critical access hospital organized medical staff take an active part in pain assessment, pain management, and safe opioid prescribing through participating in the establishment of protocols, quality metrics, and reviewing performance improvement activities
  • Monitor high-risk patients in critical access hospitals

Not all requirements apply to all settings in the ambulatory care program. The Joint Commission has a grid indicating which requirements are applicable, as well as documentation by setting showing which requirements are new, which are deleted, and which have been revised.

For more information about the new pain requirements, review the Joint Commission Prepublication Standards – Revisions for Pain Assessment and Management.

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Charity Singleton Craig

Charity Singleton Craig is a freelance writer and editor who provides communications and marketing services for CIPROMS. She is responsible for creating, editing, and managing all content, design, and interaction on the company website and social media channels in order to promote CIPROMS as a thought leader in healthcare billing and management.

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