The Joint Commission's new pain standards take effect in January: 5 things anesthesia groups should know

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Anesthesia groups should review and modify their policies and procedures to ensure compliance with The Joint Commission's updated pain standards, according to Anesthesia Business Consultants President and CEO Tony Mira.

Here are five takeaways:

1. The Joint Commission released new and revised pain assessment and management standards for all The Joint Commission-accredited ambulatory care facilities, critical access hospitals and office-based surgery organizations in June.

2. Designed to improve pain assessment, treatment, education and monitoring practices, the requirements go into effect in January 2019.

3. They appear in four accreditation manual chapters: Leadership (LD.04.03.13); Provision of Care, Treatment and Services (PC.01.02.07); Performance Improvement (PI.01.01.01; PI.02.01.01); and Medical Staff (MS.05.01.01).

4. The requirements include asking facilities to designate pain management leaders, provide pain assessment and management education, inform staff about available consultations and referrals, monitor opioid prescribing and provide access to prescription drug monitoring program databases.

5. Ambulatory care organizations, critical access hospitals and office-based surgery organizations can find reports detailing the new requirements and rationales behind them. The Joint Commission also created a grid showing which standards apply to which types of ambulatory facilities.

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