Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) New Pain Management Standards
In 2001, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) released their new pain management standards. These new standards led to a commonly held perception that pain should be seen as the "5th vital sign". At the time, patients' pain was not being managed well and the emphasis of the new guidelines was to address this concern. It is a commonly held belief that this led to a period of overprescribing that was one of the many factors that contributed to the opioid crisis.
JCAHO implemented new and revised pain assessment and management standards on January 1, 2018. Through these new standards, accredited hospitals are required to develop policies and procedures that, upon appropriate clinical determination, provide the appropriate framework to assess, treat, refer, or reassess patient pain.
These new standards reflect the need for revisions based on the opioid epidemic and the new CDC guidelines for the prescription of opioids for chronic pain.
The following are an abbreviation of the new JCAHO standards.
Accredited hospitals are required to establish policies and procedures, based on clinical determination where appropriate, that:
What the new guidelines DO NOT do is:
The standards, when read thoroughly and correctly interpreted, continue to encourage organizations to establish education programs, training, policies, and procedures that improve the assessment and treatment of pain without promoting the unnecessary or inappropriate use of opioids.
More information about the new guidelines can be viewed at the following link:
Facts About Joint Commission Accreditation Standards for Health Care Organizations: Pain Assessment and Management
At AAACEUs, we offer several courses on pain management. If you wish to learn more, we encourage you to take a look at the following courses:
These courses are pre-approved by CCM, CRC, CDMS, CLCP, CVRP, RRP, CNLCP, RNs, and many more.