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Joint Commission Behavioral Health Update

 January 2014      
In This Issue
New Client Welcome!
Use Our Updated Tracer Tools for 2014
Sign Up for Our 2014 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 2014.


Our first article provides our updated 2014 tracer tools based on the 2014 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 2014.


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 Breaking Barriers Rehab Center located in Troy, Michigan. BBRC provides specialized treatment for individuals who have experienced a traumatic brain injury.The organization provides a wide variety of services including neuropsychiatry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy and nursing, all tailored to the needs of the individual client. BBRC was founded in 1998 and is accredited by The Joint Commission. Barrins & Associates is pleased to be working with BBRC on its Joint Commission readiness efforts!

   Use Our Updated Tracer Tools for 2014 


We have updated our tracer tools to reflect the 2014 Joint Commission standards. There is one tracer tool for psychiatric hospitals that is based on the 2014 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 2014 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 and the standards most frequently cited as non-compliant.
  • The tools follow the typical tracer flow used by 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 2013 Surveys


Some of the most common tracers selected by surveyors in 2013 included patients/clients in the following categories:

  • Those receiving services from multiple programs within the organization
  • Those who had been transferred from one program to another
  • Those with medical problems
  • Those needing nutritional assessments based on results of the nutrition screening
  • Those who had experienced physical holds or restraint/seclusion
  • Those who were about to be discharged 

If your organization has a comprehensive Continuous Readiness Program in place, you are probably already conducting internal tracers. If not, make 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 2014 TJC Update Sessions

With the New Year underway, the 2014 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' 2013 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 2014 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.