On Friday, May 16, 2014, The Joint Commission issued guidance that they were postponing the July 1, 2014, implementation of the revised diagnostic radiology requirements for accredited ambulatory care, hospitals, and critical access hospitals organizations. To finalize a comprehensive set of diagnostic radiology requirements (now targeted for July 2015 implementation), The Joint Commission is collecting additional information about several critical areas of imaging safety. And, Alliance Radiology is playing an active role in this process.
We want you to know that we are meaningfully involved in helping to champion quality, safety, and clinical excellence during this standards development and feedback process. We continue, through ongoing dialogue with The Joint Commission, to provide subject matter expertise that will help to ensure that the intent of the standards meet safety and quality expectations and that their implementation takes into account the impact these new standards will have on healthcare organizations providing advanced diagnostic radiology services.
As our partner in ensuring that patients receive only the highest quality and safest care, we welcome your feedback and comments on these new diagnostic radiology standards, requirements, and implementation. Please feel free to contact Susan Schumer-Lurie, our National Director of Quality, at (949) 233-5708 or firstname.lastname@example.org to communicate your questions, feedback and comments.
President, Alliance Radiology
Below is the message received from the Joint Commission on Friday 5/16/2014…
In January 2014, The Joint Commission published new and revised requirements that address risks associated with diagnostic radiology for accredited ambulatory care, hospitals, and critical access hospitals organizations that provide diagnostic radiology services, including those ambulatory organizations that have already achieved Advanced Diagnostic Imaging certification. The changes were intended to be effective July 1, 2014, with additional changes to be phased in by 2015 (see January 2014 Perspectives, page 5).
Since that time, we have received significant feedback from key stakeholders both praising the overall effort, and raising concerns about several critical standards. This feedback sheds light on issues that may not have been either identified or sufficiently evaluated during the standards development process. Some of these issues highlighted complexities that require us to engage in further research in order to ensure that the new standards best promote the improvement of quality and safety.
Therefore, we are postponing the July 1, 2014 implementation of the revised diagnostic radiology requirements that appear in the 2014 Update 1 to the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for ambulatory care, hospitals, and critical access hospitals. The goal is to implement the revised standards by July 2015, which will allow for the release of a comprehensive set of requirements, rather than partial sets over 2014 and 2015. When we finalize the 2015 diagnostic radiology requirements, it is expected that the majority of the 2014 proposed requirements will be implemented as currently written. A prepublication version of the final requirements will be posted on our website six months in advance of any identified implementation date.
In order to finalize a single set of standards in 2015, we are collecting additional information about several critical areas of radiation safety. The critical areas include:
- Documentation of the radiation dose.
- Annual equipment performance evaluations by a medical physicist or Magnetic Resonance scientist.
- Minimum qualifications for radiologic technologists who perform computerized tomography (CT) exams. These requirements were to have become effective July 1, 2015. Since this subject is covered in the now postponed revised requirements, this date is also no longer effective.
- Requirements that align with the State of California’s CT law.
We value and appreciate the feedback received from imaging professionals, our accredited organizations, and other key stakeholders. The decision to postpone the implementation of these requirements is based on our goal of advancing imaging quality and safety.