In an update from the Joint Commission, the term “licensed independent practitioner” is being removed from hospital restraint and seclusion standards. Instead, the term will read “licensed practitioner.” The new terminology went into effect on March 15, 2020, according to a press release from the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
The term licensed practitioner removes any uncertainty that physician assistants (PAs) are qualified to order patient restraint and seclusion. This capability is to the benefit of patients and additional medical staff, as PAs can now issue needed orders when they are the first available medical provider.
The new language reads as follows: “A physician or other authorized licensed practitioner responsible for the patient’s care orders the use of restraint or seclusion in accordance with hospital policy and law and regulation.
“Unless state law is more restrictive, every 24 hours, a physician or other authorized licensed practitioner responsible for the patient’s care sees and evaluates the patient before writing a new order for restraint or seclusion used for the management of violent or self-destructive behavior that jeopardizes the immediate physical safety of the patient, staff, or others in accordance with hospital policy and law and regulation.”
In September 2019, the Joint Commission made the changes in language to comply with updated Medicare and Medicaid regulations.
Joint Commission Removes “Licensed Independent Practitioner” Term from Restraint and Seclusion Standards [news release]. American Academy of Physician Assistants News Center. March 6, 2020. https://www.aapa.org/news-central/2020/03/joint-commission-removes-licensed-independent-practitioner-term-from-restraint-and-seclusion-standards/. Accessed March 16, 2020.