Task force says long-term care needs mending

A national task force from the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA; Nashville, Tennessee) reported that the current survey and certification processes used to evaluate long-term care facilities nationwide is broken and beyond repair.

After an investigation into survey and certification protocol across the country, the task force concluded in its final report, Broken and Beyond Repair: Recommendations to Reform the Survey and Certification System, that an independent, broad-based national panel of experts should be convened to re-examine the oversight process for nursing homes.

The report's 31 recommendations address short-term and long-term solutions, including improved communication to surveyors and providers about new requirements and changes to the survey process, standardized job descriptions for surveyors, more efficient use of survey resources, and flexibility to adapt to culture change.

The task force's overarching recommendation is that an independent commission, such as the Institute of Medicine, re-examine the survey and certification process to "create a common vision for how our nation should care for its frailest citizens and to recommend a new oversight model for ensuring that this vision becomes reality in every nursing home today."

New ISO/IEC certification for TUV North America

TUV Rheinland of North America (Newtown, Connecticut) said it has been accredited to the ISO/IEC 17021:2006 management systems certification standard by the American National Accreditation Body As of Sept. 15, this new standard replaces ISO/IEC Guide 62:1996 and ISO/IEC Guide 66:1999.

The ISO/IEC 17021 standard requires competent, consistent and impartial audit and certification of all types of management systems, including quality and environmental management systems. All registrars must transition to the updated standard by the implementation date or forfeit their accreditation status.

TÜVRheinland is a provider of independent testing and assessment services. The company has more than 12,500 employees at some 360 locations in 62 countries.

Oncology Metrics selects RemitDATA

RemitDATA (Memphis, Tennessee), a provider of web-based productivity tools and benchmarking to the outpatient healthcare market, said that Oncology Metrics, a business dedicated to developing products and services to help accelerate advancements in cancer treatment, has selected RemitDATA to provide reimbursement tools and custom benchmarking metrics to its oncology practice members.

Oncology Metrics is offering RemitDATA's tools to the Oncology Circle, as a value-added service, to help improve reimbursement process efficiencies, enhance best-practices and increase practice profitability. The tools will be used as a complement to Oncology Metrics current knowledge-based products and services and help accelerate their quest to improve cancer diagnosis and treatment.

"The opportunity to integrate our practice's financial and operational benchmarks with RemitDATA's expertise in reimbursement was compelling," said Warren Dodge, president/CEO for Oncology Metrics. "What makes this relationship valuable to our members is that their claims benchmarking tool is the best available in the market and RemitDATA has the customer service and vision to continue to be the market leader. This partnership makes the final offering from both companies second to none."

Bridgemedica achieves ISO certification

Bridgemedica (Walpole, Massachusetts), a company providing concept-to-market services in design, development engineering, sourcing, clean room assembly and distribution of medical devices, said that it has achieved ISO 13485:2003 certification through auditor BSI Management Systems.

"The ISO certification process was a major business initiative of our company and reflects the organization's commitment to designing and manufacturing high quality products for the medical device market," said President Robert Pelletier. "Achieving this important objective sets Bridgemedica apart from many of our competitors and ensures our clients a quality outcome while helping them achieve their business initiatives."

ISO 13485:2003 applies to organizations involved with the product design, engineering and contract manufacturing services for medical device customers. The Bridgemedica facility, which includes a 1,500-square-foot class 10,000 clean room, will accommodate assembly and packaging of electro/mechanical capital medical devices as well as assembly and packaging of sterile and non-sterile medical disposables.