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SDS Accreditation Update: Joint Commission revisits marking of surgical site
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations still requires you to mark the surgical site for some surgeries, but you won’t have to mark all surgeries as originally required under National Patient Safety Goal No. 4.
That patient safety goal requires organizations to implement a process to mark surgical sites.
Organizations still will be required to mark the surgical site in cases involving left and right distinction, multiple structures (such as fingers or toes), or levels such as in the spine.
Some procedures won’t require marking
However, effectively immediately, the Joint Commission no longer requires that the site be marked for some types of procedures such as laparoscopy, cesareans, laparotomy, and interventional procedures for which the site is not pre-determined, such as cardiac catheterization procedures.
Organizations will not be scored as noncompliant for not marking these sites as long as they are consistently marking the sites involving right and left distinction, multiple structures, or levels.
The Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) in Wilmette, IL, also requires that organizations use a process to identify and/or designate the surgical site and involve the patient in those processes.
The AAAHC does not differentiate between procedures with multiple structures or levels and other procedures.