The Joint Commission
The Joint Commission was founded in 1951 as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals. Their mission is to observe normal conditions onsite, evaluate the performance, and address standards of healthcare organizations and hospitals in the United States. They are an independent, not-for-profit organization that works to gauge patient care and safety, how medications are handled and dispensed, and control of infection and contamination, and they currently evaluation over 20,000 locations.
Why is Joint Commission Accreditation Important?
The Joint Commission evaluates health care institutions, works to enhance the care and safety standards, and publishes their finding and allows public comments on their website.
What is the Accreditation Process?
An unannounced survey is conducted onsite every 24 to 36 months (depending on the type of hospital or lab) to observe and critique the everyday standards of care and patient safety. The survey and standards are set by a team of industry experts, medical professionals, and government officials.
What Does it Mean to Be Accredited?
Most state governing bodies require accreditation to receive a license or be eligible for Medicaid reimbursements. Accreditation also ensures best practices are being followed, keeps an organization competitive and relevant to industry standards, and provides patients and their families with comfort and confidence in how they conduct business.
Who Do They Evaluate?
- General hospitals
- Senior living, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities
- Psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities
- Labs, pharmacies, and medical equipment suppliers
- Behavioral healthcare providers
Overall, the Joint Commission provides the answer to those looking for a peek under the tent into how everyday standards and routines are followed in health care institutions. They are looking and listening to what happens every day in hospitals and are always evaluating and sharing information to continue to raise the bar on how we practice medicine.