|Medication Administration Training|
|Privacy of Care|
|Transgender Health Care|
|Use of Tobacco|
The Latest Column
Questions are from the latest Standards Q&A column, posted in June 2018.
Need Unique Policies for Health Services?
We are preparing for NCCHC accreditation and are developing a policy and procedure manual (standard J-A-05). Policies covering some of the NCCHC standards (e.g., medical diets, environmental inspections, grievances, emergency response plan) already exist, but they are part of the jail’s policy and procedure manual. Do we have to write new policies for health services on these topics if they are already covered in the jail’s procedural manual?
You need not develop a new policy statement for the health services policy manual if the topic has been addressed elsewhere. You simply can place a copy of the relevant institutional policy in the health services policy manual or include a page in the health services manual that cross-references the institutional policy statement. What is most important is that there are policy statements covering all of the specific topic areas listed in NCCHC’s standards, but it is not necessary that all facilities do it exactly the same way.
Is NPDB Part of Credential Checks for Nurses?
My question is about standard C-01 Credentials. Could you clarify whether or not an inquiry must be made to the National Practitioner Data Bank for nurses?
All qualified health care professionals must have credentials and provide services consistent with the licensure, certification and registration requirements of the jurisdiction. As part of the hiring process, verification of credentials should confirm current licensure, certification or registration. This process should include inquiry into sanctions or disciplinary actions of state boards and employers for all qualified health care professionals. However, for accreditation purposes, the 2018 standards clarify that the NPDB inquiry is required only for prescribers; it is not necessary for nurses.
Do Fire Drills Count as Disaster Drills?
Our facility has fire drills about four times a year. Do these count as disaster drills under D-07 Emergency Services and Response Plan?
If these are routine fire drills for the whole facility, probably not. This standard focuses on the health aspects of the disaster plan. Practicing emergency response plans enables health staff to better respond to disasters when they occur.
While health staff need to participate in basic fire drills to ensure that they know how and where to evacuate themselves and their patients, they also need to practice their own plans for a disaster. Suppose there was a fire in an inmate housing area or the medical area and several inmates were injured and/or the medical area was destroyed. You might be interested in learning whether:
- Correctional staff followed procedure in notifying health staff of the disaster and vice versa
- Their responses were timely
- Patients were triaged appropriately
- Emergency/disaster kits were equipped as needed
- Emergency equipment functioned adequately
- Staff knew how to use the equipment
If you practice your plan and then critique it, you can correct any deficiencies and lessen the chances of inappropriate actions in the event of a real disaster.