Pain is frequently cited because the hospital is not following its own policy. Relevant Joint Commission requirements include PC.8.10 and RI.2.160. The following policy addresses all elements required by these standards except for pain education.
This policy must be complemented by a plan for ongoing pain education (which is required under RI.2.160 EP.1). It is this education document that will specify the current pain scales approved by the hospital and how to complete clinically appropriate assessments.
Please note that pain assessments are only required for certain outpatient settings. The policy also allows the documentation of a reassessment of pain at the end of the shift rather than concurrently.
The policy calls for 12-hour pain reassessments for inpatients to cover hospitals with a mix of 8 and 12 hour shifts. The normal process would be for nurses to assess pain at least once per shift, however the policy allows up to 12 hours between reassessments to address “comparable level of care” concerns. Model Pain Policy d21_cha_pain_policy_050508.doc