The Joint Commission has updated its hand hygiene standard for all accreditation programs. Effective January 1, 2018 surveyors will cite the failure of individuals to perform hand hygiene in the process of providing direct patient care as a deficiency resulting in a Requirement for Improvement (RFI) under the Infection Prevention and Control Standard IC.02.01.01, EP 2:

“The organization uses standard precautions, including the use of personal protective equipment, to reduce the risk of infection.”

Although standard NPSG.07.01.01 (introduced in 2004) about the organization complying with hand hygiene already exists, until now, no standard has focused on assessing an individual’s hand hygiene.

Since organizations have had since 2004 to implement their own successful hygiene programs, TJC has determined that organization have had plenty of time to train the personnel involved in patient care. This change is going into effect to ensure that hand hygiene performance that directly affects patient care will no longer be a concern.

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