Joint Commission Starts Consulting Service For Staffs that Need Help Fighting Infections

What would be better in this fresh new year than a hospital free of infections? A new consulting program from the Joint Commission may be able to help with that goal.

Toward the end of 2007, Joint Commission Resources (JCR) started offering consultancy on several topics, one of which is reduction of multi-drug-resistant organisms (MDROs). JCR works with facility staffs to select the appropriate consultants, who have on average 25 years experience in senior administrative and clinical positions from healthcare organizations around the world.

Representatives say the consultants bring evidence-based knowledge, best practices, and practical solutions. Part of this involves listening carefully to the specific challenges of that organization, assessing the current state of the facility and staff, identifying gaps in systems or processes, and then developing pragmatic solutions.

JCR employees recognize that MDROs are an international problem, says Nanne M. Finis, RN, MS, executive director of consulting services.

This increasing issue is one of great concern to our client organizations and in our consulting work the client need to take action to control MDROs was more and more in demand, Finis says.

The consultants will assist any facility. They are currently working in hospitals, but are going to extend to other healthcare sites as well. The fee depends on the services.

The program is still in its infancy and the JCR will therefore not release results yet. So far, however, its obvious that some simple measures are being commonly overlooked, such as handwashing, comprehensive control risk assessments and proper education for healthcare professionals, Finis says.

She adds that many organizations are contacting the Commission and asking about the services. JCR consultants work on-site and draft customized projects and reports. They review policies, procedures, and interview all levels of leadership including committee members and frontline staff.

The focus of the consultation is to develop an actionable plan for next steps to enhance the total infection prevention and control program for each unique organization, Finis says.

Leadership engagement, knowledge enhancement, capacity to proactively manage infection prevention and control, management of trends and information, performance improvement strategies, enhanced clinical practices and procedures are some of those issues that we anticipate to work with our clients on, she adds.