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Facilities Accreditation Program Adopts NQF Safe Practices

Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, October 21, 2009

Since The National Quality Forum (NQF) released the 2009 Update of its Safe Practices for Better Healthcare, Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) has adopted the 34 safe practices, which will now be implemented by all HFAP-accredited hospitals, the accrediting organization announced.

NQF has added seven new practices that will be incorporated in the new standards throughout the manual. Two of these will be retired because other measurement strategies are covering the same events. These new practices include disclosure, support of caregivers, pharmacist leadership structures and systems, glycemic control, and fall prevention.

"There is no doubt that the implementation of these 34 practices will improve patient safety," said Mike Zarski, CEO of HFAP, in an official statement. "We studied them in great detail, and they are a vital part of our survey process."

HFAP is one of only three national voluntary accreditation programs (along with The Joint Commission and DNV Healthcare, Inc.) authorized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to survey hospitals for compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation and Coverage.

Originally created in 1945 to conduct an objective review of services provided by osteopathic hospitals, HFAP has maintained its deeming authority continuously since the inception of CMS in 1965 and meets or exceeds the standards required by CMS/Medicare to provide accreditation to all hospitals, ambulatory care/surgical facilities, mental health facilities, physical rehabilitation facilities, clinical laboratories, critical access hospitals, and stroke centers.

For further details these changes, visit HFAP at www.hfap.org.

Matt Phillion, CSHA, is senior managing editor of Briefings on The Joint Commission and senior editorial advisor for the Association for Healthcare Accreditation Professionals (AHAP).

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