Joint Commission Requirements for Pain Assessment and Management

PUBLISHED: Mar 21, 2018
Relevant to: Critical Access Hospitals, Hospitals

Effective January 1, 2018, Joint Commission implemented a series of new and revised pain management standards applicable to hospitals. The standards represent a comprehensive set of requirements that address key areas such as:

  • The role of hospital leadership and medical staff in pain assessment and management
  • The responsibility of the hospital to ensure all patients receive appropriate assessment and management of pain
  • The importance of involving patients in their pain management treatment planning process
  • Quality improvement including data collection and performance monitoring as well as implementation of interventions and evaluation of intervention effectiveness

Specifically, TJC-accredited hospitals should have written policies and procedures that address:

  • Establishing a clinical team dedicated to pain assessment and managemen.
  • Improving pain assessment and management including ways to decrease the use of opioids and minimizing the risks associated with opioids, including but not limited to:
    • Providing access to a minimum of one non-pharmacological pain treatment modality
    • Facilitating access to prescription drug monitoring programs
    • Considering and evaluating how pain is affecting patients’ physical function
    • Involving patients in treatment decisions about their pain management
  • Patient education that includes storage and disposal of opioids
  • Referral to treatment programs for patients addicted to opioids

Included with today’s notice are example policies and procedures related to TJC pain assessment requirements for hospitals.

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