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The Joint Commission Adopts ASA Recommendations on Medication Management Issues

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Joint Commission has adopted many recommendations on medication management issues suggested in a December 2010 letter from the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAAA) and the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF).

ASA specifically appreciates the following clarifications and modifications made by The Joint Commission:

• Deleting of the NPSG 03.04.01 FAQ prohibiting pre-labeling of syringes. We can agree with a general requirement of syringe labeling while allowing hospitals and providers to determine when and how they meet this standard.

• Clarifying that anesthesia providers may carry appropriate medications on their body as long as the institution has and enforces written policies.

• Clarifying that authorized personnel may be present around unlocked medication carts as long as such carts are located in a secured area and the hospital has and enforces written policies. 

• Clarifying that MM.06.01.01 EP9 with respect to informed consent was intended for medications ordered to treat conditions rather than anesthesia services.  Thus, anesthesiologists are not required to explain all of the possible effects of the dozens of medications that might be used during a surgical procedure as part of the informed consent process.

Click here to read the original December 2010 joint letter signed by ASA.

Click here to read the letter from The Joint Commission adopting some of the recommendations.


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