Joint Commission Hears from Nursing on Proposed Standards for Primary Care Home

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As the Joint Commission has moved forward with their initiative to launch a “Primary Care Home” accreditation, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has worked to ensure that the Joint Commission receives input from the nursing community.

The proposed standards for the Joint Commission’s version of “medical home” were presented to the Ambulatory Care Professional Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) in September 2010; ANA is represented on the PTAC. ANA was generally supportive of the patient-centered approach but raised questions and requested clarification of certain language. A revised draft was published for field review (public comment) from January 31st to March 14th.

ANA carefully reviewed the draft standards, engaged in discussion with other organizations to craft guidance, and sought a robust response from members and other stakeholders. Reporting on the field review to the PTAC at their March 24th meeting, The Joint Commission staff described the response as one of the largest ever received.

The Joint Commission has been pressured to adopt language that would mandate a “physician-led” model and has instead created flexible and forward-looking standards that refers to a “primary care clinician” and an “interdisciplinary team” that are responsible for providing comprehensive and continuous care. The Joint Commission staff are currently revising the standards based on input received and will present a final draft to the Standards and Survey Procedures Committee April 18th. Implementation is planned for July 2011.

ANA will keep members informed on this process. To read ANA’s comments, see below. For more information about the initiative visit Joint Commission website below.