The Joint Commission reveals 10 most challenging standards — and they might look familiar

The Joint Commission released its annual list of the 10 standards that posed the greatest challenges for accredited ambulatory healthcare organizations in 2017, and all but one made appearances on the 2016 list.

The only newcomer to the 2017 list is IC.02.01.01: "The organization implements infection prevention and control activities." Dropping off the list was the standard MM.01.02.01, which states, "The organization addresses the safe use of look-alike/sound-alike medications."

The Joint Commission identifies the most common challenges by analyzing standards compliance data. Here are the top 10 challenges for ambulatory care programs, based on an average of 695 surveys.

1. IC.02.02.01: The organization reduces the risk of infections associated with medical equipment, devices and supplies.

2. MM.03.01.01: The organization safely stores medications.

3. HR.02.01.03: The organization grants initial, renewed or revised clinical privileges to individuals who are permitted by law and the organization to practice independently.

4. EC.02.04.03: The organization inspects, tests and maintains medical equipment.

5. EC.02.05.01: The organization manages risks associated with its utility systems.

6. EC.02.02.01: The organization manages risks related to hazardous materials and waste.

7. IC.02.01.01: The organization implements infection prevention and control activities.

8. EC.02.03.05: The organization maintains fire safety equipment and fire safety building features.

9. EC.02.05.07: The organization inspects, tests and maintains emergency power systems.

10. MM.01.01.03: The organization safely manages high-alert and hazardous medications.

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