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Thread: JCAHO and Pain as vital sign????

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    North Carolina

    Question JCAHO and Pain as vital sign????

    AAPC: Back to School
    I attended our EMR meeting yesterday and something interesting was mentioned. I have a new hand surgeon and he is very knowledgeable with EMR's. He mentioned that JCAHO deems "pain" as a vital sign. Our EMR designer stated..."Oh yes, they deemed that some time back". Well, I must have had the "deer in the headlight" look because both of them asked me what was wrong. To sum it all up, I started doing some research and this is what I found...

    "JCAHO has sent a clear message that pain is now considered the "fifth" vital sign "


    If this is accurate, I'm trying to find out if CMS recognizes this. Does anyone have any information on this? I am communicating with others and I hope to have an answer soon.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    North Carolina


    Ok....I've got the goods on this.

    "Documentation of pain assessment is part of the JCAHO process when evaluating HOSPITAL records. In 1999/2000, JCAHO presented an initiative - (an excerpt of a press release is as follows)-to measure how well hospitals are documenting, monitoring and appropriately treating patient pain levels. That is why you will see "pain scale" assessments on all hospital ED records. However, since JCAHO deals with facility based records only, it is not an initiative that affects providers anywhere other than inpatient setting and has no impact on outpatient, clinic or other private practice settings.

    THE JOINT COMMISSION FOR THE ACCREDITATION OF Health Care Organizations (JCAHO), which accredits most of the nation's hospitals and thousands of other health care organizations, has begun monitoring how well these facilities assess and treat pain, marking another positive step toward the recognition for better pain management.

    *I have learned something new today*

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