This is an update on a recent plea from the American College of Emergency Physicians to voice concerns on a proposed requirement that would make the current situation in the nations Emergency Room even worse. It looks like we had an impact…

The Joint Commission said that it will consider revising a standard requiring pharmacists to prospectively review all medications administered in the emergency department.

The standard has provoked an uproar among emergency physicians, who said it was causing unnecessary delays in providing needed medications to patients in the ED.

While The Joint Commission develops revisions to the medication management standard–a process that likely won’t be complete until at least late 2007–hospitals will be deemed in compliance if a pharmacist conducts a retrospective review of medication orders within 48 hours, according to an announcement in the Joint Commission’s January newsletter.

“This modification will prevent treatment delays while retaining a pharmacist’s involvement,” according to the text of The Joint Commission’s interim provisions for the standard.

The interim provision was instituted after a large effort by ACEP and the emergency medicine community who persistently let The Joint Commission know the impact this standard had in emergency departments nationwide.

“It is a direct result of our concentrated efforts to make The Joint Commission aware of the difficulties and deleterious effect it was having on patient care,” said Marilyn Bromley, R.N., director of ACEP’s emergency medicine practice department.

In addition, ACEP, the Emergency Nurses Association and AAEM sent a strongly worded letter to The Joint Commission. Subsequently, ACEP kept in constant contact with the Joint Commission’s representatives as the problems caused by the standard got worse.

“ACEP would also like to thank the emergency physicians and nurses who completed The Joint Commission field survey requesting comments on the standard,” Ms. Bromley said. “The united front presented by emergency medicine sent a very powerful message to the Joint Commission.”

You’re Welcome. 😉