AABH maintains a seat on the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) Behavioral Health Professional and Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC). The PTAC is composed of representatives of the major professional organizations within the behavioral health industry. The role of the PTAC is to recommend, review and advise the Joint Commission regarding proposed changes in the Behavioral Health Standards. In this section of the AABH web site, we will feature news coming from JCAHO that is pertinent to those interested in ambulatory modalities of care and the flexible use of the behavioral health continuum.
AABH Representative to JCAHO
Juddi Brennan, MS, MFT
Director, Outpatient Services
Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital
Board Member 2004 - 2010
A variety of issues have been addressed in recent JCAHO meetings. Many of them have very limited relevance to behavioral health, such as standards involving the administration of anesthesia. A brief summary of the items that might be of interest to AABH members is as follows:
Self-Administered Medications: New guidelines were approved by the PTAC regarding the need for a policy to define who may bring in and carry medications on their person and how those medications are used.
Timed Documentation: A new requirement for time of documentation, along with date of documentation was approved by the PTAC.
Individuals Working Under an LIP: A new standard was approved by the PTAC that requires organizations to credential individuals working under a Licensed Independent Practitioner and to use the same credentialing standards that apply to employees of the organization.
New Rehabilitation and Recovery Oriented Behavioral Health Services Chapter: New standards were approved for organizations that identify themselves as subscribing to a recovery-oriented philosophy. Key provisions involve leadership, employment services, peer and family support, case management, and transitioning client from dependence to self-reliance. This concept was approved by the PTAC but JCAHO staff is working on recommended revisions.
Elimination of Behavioral Health Promotion Chapter: The PTAC and SSP approved eliminating this chapter from the BHC standards. It was felt to be too nebulous and had never resulted in a surveyor recommendation or inquiry form the field. Some elements of the chapter may be integrated into the leadership chapter at a later date.