Joint Commission Clarifies IM standard

Matt Phillion, April 23, 2010

The Joint Commission announced this week a clarification on Information Management standard IM.02.02.01. This standard deals with the area of abbreviations, acronyms, symbols, and dose designations.

Previously, this issue was dealt with under the National Patient Safety Goals addressing do-not-use abbreviations. However, during the course of the Standards Improvement Initiative, rules for compliance with this issue were moved under the IM standards, specifically Element of Performance (EP) 2 of MS.02.02.01.

This change also included changes in language to the standard, which subsequently led to some confusion on the part of Joint Commission-accredited organizations. According to The Joint Commission, the new language appeared to indicate that hospitals had to craft a list of approved abbreviations (including acronyms, symbols, and dose designations)—which was not the intent of the standard.

Thus The Joint Commission has issued an update (effective July 1, 2010) clarifying the language of the standard (or rather, converting the standard language back to its previous wording in the 2009 version of the standard).

For more information on this change, visit The Joint Commission's Web site.

Matt Phillion 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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