The Joint Commission will hold hospitals to CDC vaccine storage requirements. They announced this enforcement during this years Executive Briefing presentations. Here’s what changed.
Vaccine Storage Guidelines
First, the vaccine storage requirements target proper storage for any vaccines received through the Federal vaccines for children program. This appears to relax findings we have seen in past survey reports. TJC cited any vaccine storage that was inconsistent with the CDC Guideline.
There is a new 2018 version of the CDC advisory. You can obtain the 2018 guidelines here.
This guideline suggests using digital data loggers rather than other types of thermometers. And, they advise there should be a current certificate of calibration for that device.
The CDC further advises what they call “purpose-built units.” In other words, refrigerators that are just refrigerators and freezers that are just freezers. They also advise against the use of “dorm style” refrigerators.
Since the CDC publishes what some consider best practices, it would be worthwhile to review them in detail. Furthermore, use that advice everywhere you store vaccines, to the extent possible. If it is not possible, TJC’s current stance is that it is acceptable, except for the vaccines obtained from the vaccines for children program.
Do you need assistance interpreting and implementing these or other Joint Commission guidelines? Patton Healthcare Consulting provides Joint Commission Compliance Assistance and a full range of pre-survey and post survey services to healthcare organizations. Contact our office at 888-742-4621, via email or through our website contact page to schedule a discussion of your needs and learn more about our compliance and readiness expertise.