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Nursing Reference Center Joint Commission Standards

2013 Joint Commission Standard Nursing Reference Center (NRC) Features and Examples

Rights and Responsibilities of the Individual


The hospital respects the patient’s rights to receive information he or she understands

NRC features: Quick Lessons, Evidence-based Care Sheets, and journals in CINAHL with Full Text, provide the latest information about best practices, to support decision making that is based on the clinical and educational needs of the patient.

Example: A patient with obstructive sleep apnea considers surgery to relieve insomnia and fatigue. The nurse practitioner consults the Quick Lesson Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Surgical Treatment Options to discuss the appropriateness and effectiveness of certain procedures. Additionally, she introduces information from the Evidence-based Care Sheet Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Devices as a noninvasive long term option. The patient is properly informed to make a health care treatment decision.


The hospital respects the patient’s rights to participate in decisions about his or her care, treatment and services


The hospital honors the patient’s right to give or withhold informed consent


Provision of Care, Treatment, and Services

The hospital plans the patient’s care

NRC features: The most current practice guidelines are used to assess patient needs and to develop and continually assess the multidisciplinary plan of care. A search within NRC’s Quick Lessons, best practice guidelines, CINAHL with Full Text, and URAC accredited patient education materials validate and support the individualized patient care plan.

Example: The admitting nurse, respiratory therapist, and clinical social worker discuss end-of-life care with a patient having worsening congestive heart failure. They review the 2008 article: Evidence-Based Interventions to Improve the Palliative Care of Pain, Dyspnea, and Depression at the End of Life: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians. The guideline, along with recommendations for optimizing comfort and quality of life in the Quick Lesson Heart Failure and Palliative Care, serve as the basis for the plan of care. Patient education materials include both medical and alternative treatment.

The hospital provides patient education and training based on each patient’s needs and abilities
The hospital coordinates the patient’s care, treatment and services based on the patient’s needs


Medication Management

The hospital plans its medication management processes

NRC Features: Resources available in NRC include two comprehensive drug textbooks, up-to-date drug lessons, and in CINAHL with Full Text, pharmaceutical journal articles. The extensive drug resources provide information, which allows the nurse to verify and comply with the physician’s written orders.

Example: Mesalamine 4 gms. daily, in divided doses, is ordered to induce clinical remission in a patient with ulcerative colitis. The nurse checks AHFS Drug Information Essentials to check indications, dosage, and side effects.

08.01.01 The hospital evaluates the effectiveness of its medication management system


Infection Prevention and Control

Hospital leaders allocate needed resources for the infection prevention and control program

NRC features: NRC including CINAHL with Full Text is a research database containing relevant journal articles and national/global guidelines- background information for creating the hospital’s protocols.

Example: Searching CINAHL with Full Text, a hospital Infection Control Committee researches a June 2011 article in American Journal of Infection Control®: Sustainable Reduction in Hospital-Acquired Methicillin- Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Infections through a Hospital Wide MRSA Screening Program and hires a full time sepsis educator. The educator teaches and monitors the importance of cleaning equipment and surfaces to prevent transmission of MRSA in the emergency department.




The hospital has policies and procedures that guide and support patient care, treatment, and services.

NRC features: NRC Quick Lessons, Evidence-based Care Sheets, and current clinical guidelines in patient care and safety assist nursing leaders to development the hospital’s policies for best practices in patient care and nursing competence.

Example: A critical care committee uses the Evidence- based Care Sheet Prevention of Ventilator-associated Pneumonia to update the ventilator care program. The committee decides to implement a “ventilator bundle” as recommended by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The nursing staff retrieves the article from the ICU customized folder in NRC. Further general research on patient safety in CINAHL with Full Text locates a systematic review A discussion of approaches to transforming care: contemporary strategies to improve patient safety in the November 2011 issue of Journal of Advanced Nursing.


The hospital has an organization-wide, integrated patient safety program within its performance improvement activities.


The hospital considers clinical practice guidelines when designing or improving processes.


Human Resources

Staff participate in ongoing education and training

NRC features: Quick Lessons, Evidence-based Care Sheets, guidelines, and continuing education modules serve as background for in-service curricula. The NRC Nursing Practice and Skills papers detail descriptions of procedures in which nurses commonly participate. The Skill Competency Checklists in NRC are used to verify that nurses are competent to perform the procedures.

Example: The hospital’s Clinical Education Committee requires the obstetric nurses to read selected articles each month. The current assignment includes the Quick Lesson Placenta Previa and several journal articles. The nurses learn best practices, meet competency requirements, and gain CEs from the CINAHL Education site.

1.06.01 Staff are competent to perform their responsibilities


Information Management

Knowledge-based information resources are readily available, current, and authoritative.

NRC features: NRC provides the latest, most credible best practice information for use at the point of care. NRC is easily linked from an electronic medical record for immediate actionable information.

Example: A medical-surgical staff nurse is to administer intravenous Rocephin (Ceftriaxone Sodium). He clicks on an “Info Button” in the patient’s electronic medical record to link to AHFS Drug Information Essentials. He reads about incompatibilities associated with the drug.



The nurse executive establishes guidelines for the delivery of nursing care, treatment, and services.

NRC features: Nursing standards and procedures are contained within the CINAHL with Full Text database. They are used as reference material for hospital-specific nursing policy development.

Example: A CNO retrieves the article An empowerment framework for nursing leadership: supporting evidence in the 2012 Jan issue of Journal Advanced Nursing to develop ideas and strategies for leadership