Joint Commission Standards Updates for 2014


For 2014, the Joint Commission approved standards changes for hospitals, critical access hospitals, and others concerning medication management and provision of diagnostic imaging services.  The Joint Commission also revised its standards to clarify that critical access hospitals are required to provide acute care inpatient services.  The relevant revisions are outlined below. 

Application of Medical Management (MM) Standards to Sample Medications:

  • Clarifies which MM elements of performance apply to sample medications.
  • The update applies to ambulatory care, behavioral health care, critical access hospital, home care, hospital, and office-based surgery programs.
  • Changes will be effective July 1, 2014.

Standards for Organizations Providing Diagnostic Imaging Services:

  • The changes include minimum competency requirements for radiology technologists, annual performance evaluations of imaging equipment by medical physicists, documentation of the computed tomography (CT) radiation dose in the patient’s clinical record, imaging protocols for the pediatric population that consider patient size or body habitus, safety risk management in the MRI environment, and the collection of data on incidents where identified radiation dose limits were exceeded.
  • Revisions apply to hospitals, critical access hospitals, and ambulatory care organizations that provide diagnostic imaging services.
  • Changes will be effective July 1, 2014, with additional requirements to be phased in by 2015.

Revised Requirements to Maintain Alignment with Medicare Conditions of Participation (COPs):

  • Changes comply with CMS’s August 19, 2013 final rule that included changes to the COPs, which became effective October 1, 2013.
  • Changes remove the word “polysaccharide” from the Medication Management (MM) Standard MM.04.01.01 for hospitals and critical access hospitals, and clarify that critical access hospitals are required to provide acute care inpatient services.
  • Revisions are effective immediately.

The new standards are available on the Joint Commission Website, or by clicking here, here, and here.

Reporter, Isabella Edmundson, Atlanta, +1 404 572 3527,

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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