Joint Commission Releases Revisions to Home Oxygen Use Safety Goal
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
by: VNAA Education and Quality Team

Section: Quality and Educational Programming




The Joint Commission recently approved modifications to National Patient Safety Goal NPSG.15.02.01 on risks associated with home oxygen use for accredited home care organizations. These modifications enhance the Goal's focus on patient safety and clarify specific requirements. The full text of the revisions are available here. Specifically, the modifications include:

  • A new element of performance (EP) requiring periodic reevaluation of fire risks in the home. The new requirement allows organizations to establish the intervals for reevaluation based on evidence of unsafe practices in the home.
  • A new EP requiring organizations to implement strategies to improve compliance with oxygen safety precautions when unsafe practices are observed in the home. Depending upon individual patient and family circumstances, the strategies may include notifying the licensed independent practitioner ordering oxygen, additional education, written reminders in various locations, and exploring alternative living arrangements.
  • An expanded rationale. The expanded rationale for NPSG.15.02.01 describes the fire risks associated with oxygen, explains the importance of the home risk assessment, and emphasizes the responsibility of every organization providing services in the home to assess safety risks.
  • A new note to EP 1 regarding the assessment of functioning smoke detectors. The note states that, while they are not required to do so, home care staff may test the detectors if they are accessible and if testing does not pose any safety risk. Alternatively, home care staff may verify the functioning of the alarms with the patient and family.
  • Clarification of documentation requirements for the NPSG. Documentation provides a record of steps taken to reduce patient risk, and this information is important for communication among those providing home care services.
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