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Joint Commission Behavioral Health Update

 January 2013     
In This Issue
New Client Welcome!
Use Our Updated Tracer Tools for 2013
Sign Up for Our 2013 TJC Update Sessions
Barrins & Associates
Barrins & Associates
Greetings to Our Colleagues in Anne Barrins
Behavioral Healthcare! 

We hope that your New Year is off to a productive and exciting start! This month we are providing information and resources to support your Continuous Readiness Program in 2013.


Our first article provides our updated 2013 tracer tools based on the 2013 Joint Commission standards.


Our second article provides information on our annual TJC Update Long Distance Education Sessions designed to bring you the latest information on TJC requirements, standards changes, and top focus areas for 2013.


We value your feedback on the newsletter. Please email us your comments and tell us what topics you would like to see in future issues.  We look forward to hearing from you!  Also, feel free to forward this newsletter to your colleagues. 



Anne Barrins
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 New Client Welcome!         


Barrins & Associates is pleased to welcome our new client Monarch Cove Treatment Center located in Monterey, California. Monarch Cove Treatment Center is a new, specialized residential treatment center for eating disorders and is an expansion of the Castlewood Treatment Center for Eating Disorders in St. Louis, Missouri. The Monarch Cove program will offer both residential and day treatment services and plans to open early in 2013. We are pleased to be working with Monarch Cove Treatment Center on achieving Joint Commission accreditation!

   Use Our Updated Tracer Tools for 2013


We have updated our tracer tools to reflect changes and new requirements in the 2013 Joint Commission standards. There is one tracer tool for psychiatric hospitals that is based on the 2013 TJC Hospital standards (This tool can also be used for psychiatric units in acute care hospitals). There is another tracer tool for behavioral health organizations/programs that is based on the 2013 TJC Behavioral Health standards. Feel free to use or adapt our tracer tools as part of your Continuous Readiness Program. The tools are in PDF format. If you would like an Excel version that you can edit, email us and ask for "Excel tracer tools".


A few notes about our tracer tools:


  • They include the standards and topics typically reviewed during TJC surveys as well as the standards most frequently cited as non-compliant.
  • The tools follow the typical tracer flow used by many surveyors. This includes the following components:
    • Unit/program tour
    • Clinical record review and staff interview
    • Inspection of medication storage area (if applicable)
  • The tracer tools can be modified based on the services you provide in your organization and settings 

Common Tracer Topics during 2012 Surveys


Some of the most common tracers selected by surveyors in 2012 included patients/clients in the following categories:

  • Medical problems
  • Nutritional issues and special diets
  • Pain issues
  • Repeated restraint/seclusion
  • Suicide risk
  • Readmissions to the unit/program
  • Transfers across levels of care
  • Receiving services from multiple programs within the organization
  • Soon to be discharged 

If your organization has a comprehensive Continuous Readiness Program in place, you are probably already conducting internal tracers. If not, think about making that one of your goals for the New Year. For more tips on conducting tracers, see our June 2011 newsletter article "Incorporate Tracers into your Continuous Readiness Program".

   Sign Up for Our 2013 TJC Update Sessions

With the New Year underway, the 2013 TJC standards are now in full effect. As part of your Continuous Readiness Program, it's critical for you and your team to be up to speed on the current TJC requirements, recent changes, and top focus areas.


To support your efforts, we are again offering our popular TJC Update Long Distance Education Sessions. Many clients and newsletter readers have taken advantage of these sessions as an efficient, cost effective way to focus their teams on TJC's top priorities for the New Year.


When we conduct the session with your team, we help you figure out how best to apply the current requirements in your particular setting. We also provide insights from our clients' 2012 surveys that can help you be ready for your next TJC survey.


For more information on how to arrange a TJC Update Long Distance Education Session, click on the links below:


We look forward to talking directly with you about how the 2013 requirements impact your organization!

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Barrins & Associates provides Joint Commission and CMS consulting services for the Behavioral Healthcare industry. Our clients include both psychiatric hospitals and freestanding Behavioral Healthcare organizations. We specialize in providing Survey Preparation and Continuous Survey Readiness services exclusively for the Behavioral Healthcare industry.  Barrins & Associates was founded by Anne Barrins who was a Joint Commission surveyor for 13 years.