JCAHO: Ends Advance Notice of Surprise Visits
In the wake of a report from the Office of the Inspector General blasting the hospital "inspection efforts of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and government agencies," JCAHO has announced that beginning next year it will end the practice of giving hospitals 24-hour notice of "surprise" inspections. George Grob, deputy inspector general, called the move "a good first step," but said the inspector general's office would like to see increased "access to all corners of the hospital," as well as an increase in unannounced inspection visits. USA Today reports that in any given year, "only 5% of the facilities accredited by the commission face a surprise visit." JCAHO President Dennis O'Leary said "the policy change is aimed at boosting credibility." He also said that inspectors would be provided with "more information about hospital problems" prior to "planned accreditation reviews," and that JCAHO is looking to "expand inspections to evening hours and weekends" (Appleby, 8/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.