DNV: Annual surveys to continue through February, but triennial onsite

by A.J. Plunkett (aplunkett@decisionhealth.com)

Because of the up-and-down patient surge from the omicron variant of COVID-19, DNV has announced that it will its annual NIAHO® surveys remotely at least through the end of February. The triennial onsite surveys for accreditation required by CMS will continue to be onsite, said the DNV announcement.

DNV, which structures its NIAHO standards to work in concert with the ISO 9001 quality management stan­dards, requires annual surveys with every third survey a being a full onsite review.

The remote surveys will include “condition-level follow-up surveys resulting from these annual surveys and any survey related to non-deemed accreditation,” said DNV in the January 7 announcement, which was signed by Troy D. McCann, director of accreditation.

DNV says it has more information on the NIAHO remote survey process in an on-demand webinar and on its COVID-19 resources page.

Onsite surveys can still be delayed under certain circumstances because of the ongoing public health emergency (PHE), said DNV, noting that the PHE is in effect until at least January 16, and “is expected to be renewed.”

CMS is relying “on the discretion of accreditation organizations to determine whether postponement of an onsite survey is safe and appropriate under the individual facility’s circumstances. DNV-accredited hospitals that expect onsite accreditation or re-accreditation survey in the 1st quarter of 2022 (generally, with accreditation expiration dates before 5/31/2022) may request postponement of survey if they are experiencing the following due to COVID-19:

  • Inpatient census at or near capacity, or extraordinary ICU utilization
  • Inpatient, emergency, or critical care capacity reduced due to COVID-19 related staff shortage
  • Shortage of PPE, medical supplies, medications, or vaccines
  • Voluntary or mandated discontinuation of elective surgeries
  • Emergency department closed or on extended diversion
  • Onsite deployment of state or federal disaster medical team, or al-ternate care site
  • Implementation of a state-recognized crisis standards of care program.”

“Requests for survey relief and supporting data should be submitted to dnvclientdropbox@dnv.com.”

The onsite surveys include those “for new applicant hospitals (Medicare 855), initial DNV deemed accreditation surveys (AO conversion, first-time accreditation, new subprovider certifications), investigation of substantial allegations, and any condition-level follow-up surveys or special survey activities related to on-site accreditation surveys,” said DNV.

As before, DNV is requiring surveyors to meet CDC guidelines for full vaccination against COVID-19.  “For all DNV onsite survey activity, surveyors will continue to wear face coverings according to CDC guidance for healthcare facilities. Surveyors will also follow your organization’s protocols for screening, sanitizing, and distancing, including use of videoconference technology to accommodate restrictions on staff or access limitations to higher risk areas within the facility.”

DNV has been conducting annual surveys remotely since last August.

Found in Categories: 
COVID-19, Survey Preparation