New rule bans retaliation against whistleblowers

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The Joint Commission has issued new rules prohibiting retaliatory disciplinary action against workers who report concerns about the safety and quality of care at accredited facilities.

The new rule will go into effect Jan. 1. It requires accredited facilities to educate employees and medical staff that any employee or physician with concerns about the safety and quality of care provided may report those concerns to the Joint Commission without fear of disciplinary action.

The previous policy might not have been clear that physicians on the medical staff also were covered by the non-retaliation policy, a Joint Commission spokesman said.