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New Pain Assessment and Management Standards for Behavioral Health

The Joint Commission has released new and updated standards regarding pain assessment for patients in behavioral health care organizations. These updates are part of an overall initiative to improve on pain assessment and management for all type of care facilities.

The following standards will remain in place.  These address pain screening, assessment and treatment requirements:

CTS.02.01.09, EP 1                                                       HRM.01.05.01, EP 1:

CTS.02.01.09, EP 2:                                                      MM.01.01.01, EP 1:


The following new requirements ensure that pain is addressed/managed in the behavioral health patient, staff are educated on pain screening/assessment/management processes and techniques, and providers have access to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program databases.

  • 02.01.09, EP 3: For acute 24-hour settings: The organization assesses pain, then treats or refers individuals served for treatment.
  • 01.05.01, EP 11: Staff performing pain screening participate in education and training on screening individuals for pain.
  • 01.05.01, EP 12: For acute 24-hour settings: Practitioners providing direct care, treatment, or services participate in education and training on pain assessment and pain management consistent with the scope of their license.
  • 01.01.01, EP 2: For organizations that prescribe medications: The organization facilitates practitioner access to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program databases.

With the target date of July 1, 2019 approaching, it is advisable to ensure that pain screening and management processes are being put into place and that initial and ongoing educational plans for staff on these new requirements and processes associated with your facility are being developed and initiated.

Source:  The Joint Commission R3 Report®, Issue 20, Dec. 21, 2018

Christopher Pratt

Author Christopher Pratt

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