//2012 Joint Commission new requirements for LSPs. Are you ready?

As you know the Joint Commission Standards for Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient and Family Centered Care are now in effect. Preparation is the key to a successful review from Joint Commission, being sure policies/procedures are in place, staff education is educated and outside Language Services Providers (LSPs) are contracted. Using the “Roadmap for Hospitals” from the Joint Commission has great step by step directions in making your facility compliant.

Do we have policy and procedures? How do I educate my staff? How do I know if our LSP is meeting our needs? If you are asking yourself these questions right now, you are not alone! The key to getting prepared quickly and accurately is having a strong partner in your LSP. Or if your hospital has never taken the time to audit your process or procedures due to thinking that your ethnic populations are not large enough, you still need to be prepared. Following the “Roadmap for Hospitals” you will be able to take simple steps to be sure that your staff is prepared for the questions and audit.

What is the role of your third party LSP during my Joint Commission survey? Most hospitals today have to rely on more than one vendor, ASL, Spoken Language, Over the Phone and contractors, managing all of these separate vendors while preparing for your survey can be overwhelming. It is important to the success of your plan is to be sure your LSPs are able to produce the required documents and staff that Joint Commission will want to see. The LSPs have to be educated and prepared to support you with the needed documentation, training, policies and procedures you will need to produce for Joint Commission.

Upon taking on a new client we perform an audit of the facilities determining how they currently support language services, procedures and most important establishing demographics, who is walking through their doors. Some customers tell us “we know who is coming through our door and our staff is trained”. This may be true; however the patient walking through the door is not tracked from start to finish when it comes to language support. This is a major part of being prepared for your Joint Commission survey, being sure that your staff knows when and how to contact your LSP to support the patient.

Can this all be set up, controlled, monitored and implemented before your 2012 survey? Sure it can! Being sure that you are teamed with a strong partner and holding them accountable to support your needs is the first step in preparing, if you are unsure who the providers are in your area please give me a call and if you are not in the Vocalink service area we will help you identify LSPs close to you.