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Joint Commission Resources

Tracer Tools
  1. Preventing Venous Thromboembolism (V.T.E.) System and Patient Tracer

  2. Pressure Ulcer (P.r.U) Prevention System and Patient Tracer

  3. Reducing Adverse Drug Events (A.D.E.s) System and Patient Tracer

  4. Preventing Catheter Associated U.T.I (C.A.U.T.I) System and Patient Tracer

  5. Reducing Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infection (C.L.A.B.S.I) System and Patient Tracer

  6. Preventing Early Elective Deliveries System Tracer

  7. Preventing Injuries from Falls and Immobility System and Patient Tracer

  8. Reducing Readmissions System and Patient Tracer

  9. Surgical Site Infections (S.S.I) System and Patient Tracer

  10. Reducing Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (V.A.P) System and Patient Tracer

The tracer methodology is the cornerstone of The Joint Commission’s onsite accreditation survey and is used to follow the experience of care, treatment or services for a number of individuals through the organization’s entire health care process.

The tracer tools included here are not the same as those used by surveyors. These tracers were specifically developed to address several hospital-acquired adverse events and discharge planning activities aimed at reducing the likelihood of readmission. These tools are intended to help staff observe and assess how processes associated with the targeted event are actually working. There are general questions that a performance improvement team may first address. Once the team members split up and go to patient care areas, the same types of questions may be asked to help you assess whether patient caregivers know the correct answers and are practicing according to hospital policies and procedures. So even though the person doing the tracing may know the answer, the objective is to evaluate if the staff know the correct answers. This will help the team identify gaps in practice.

The first several pages are considered part of the SYSTEM tracer. The remaining pages are PATIENT tracer questions – they are based on the initial identification of a patient, then determining how and what care was provided to that patient.

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