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"This study evaluated the relationship between Joint Commission accreditation and health care-associated infections (HAIs) in long-term care hospitals (LTCHs)" Schmaltz et al (2024).

Joint Commission accreditation and CLABSI rates

Abstract:

Background: This study evaluated the relationship between Joint Commission accreditation and health care-associated infections (HAIs) in long-term care hospitals (LTCHs).

Methods: This observational study used Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) LTCH data for the period 2017 to June 2021. The standardized infection ratio (SIR) of three measures used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network were used as dependent variables in a random coefficient Poisson regression model (adjusting for CMS region, owner type, and bed size quartile): catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs), and central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) for the periods 2017 to 2019 and July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. Data from January 1 to June 30, 2020, were excluded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results: The data set included 244 (73.3%) Joint Commission-accredited and 89 (26.7%) non-Joint Commission-accredited LTCHs. Compared to non-Joint Commission-accredited LTCHs, accredited LTCHs had significantly better (lower) SIRs for CLABSI and CAUTI measures, although no differences were observed for CDI SIRs. There were no significant differences in year trends for any of the HAI measures. For each year of the study period, a greater proportion of Joint Commission-accredited LTCHs performed significantly better than the national benchmark for all three measures (p = 0.04 for CAUTI, p = 0.02 for CDI, p = 0.01 for CLABSI).

Conclusion: Although this study was not designed to establish causality, positive associations were observed between Joint Commission accreditation and CLABSI and CAUTI measures, and Joint Commission-accredited LTCHs attained more consistent high performance over the four-year study period for all three measures. Influencing factors may include the focus of Joint Commission standards on infection control and prevention (ICP), including the hierarchical approach to selecting ICP-related standards as inputs into LTCH policy.


Reference:

Schmaltz SP, Longo BA, Williams SC. Infection Control Measure Performance in Long-Term Care Hospitals and Their Relationship to Joint Commission Accreditation. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2024 Feb 16:S1553-7250(24)00057-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjq.2024.02.005. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38492986.