Complying with the latest regulations will always be a critical priority for healthcare compliance professionals. But earning approval from The Joint Commission, the recognized global leader for health care accreditation, is growing in importance across healthcare organizations, including hospitals, physician group practices, surgery centers, and other treatment facilities.
This accreditation, known as The Gold Seal of Approval®, acknowledges an organization’s dedication to providing quality care and services to patients. Some states require health care organizations to be accredited by the Commission in order to participate in particular insurance programs. Earning accreditation also offers organizations a competitive edge in the market.
Meet the Joint Commission
The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization based in Illinois. Founded more than 65 years ago, the Commission provides an unbiased assessment of a health care organization’s quality achievements in patient care and safety.
It offers the following accreditation programs:
- Ambulatory Care Accreditation
- Behavioral Health Care Accreditation
- Critical Access Hospital Accreditation
- Home Care Accreditation
- Hospital Accreditation
- Laboratory Services Accreditation
- Nursing Care Center Accreditation
- Office-Based Surgery Accreditation
In addition, The Joint Commission offers 19 different certifications for a variety of clinical programs and services.
Understand the Accreditation Process
The Commission’s standards set expectations for an organization’s performance that are reasonable, achievable, and measurable. Its on-site surveys are rigorous and are customized for each organization and its efforts to improve patient outcomes. And the start of a survey is usually unannounced.
During an on-site survey, Commission surveyors perform their evaluation by:
- Tracing the care delivered to patients, residents, or individuals served
- Reviewing the information and documentation provided by the organization
- Observing and interviewing staff and, when appropriate, patients
A Summary of Survey Findings Report is provided at the conclusion of the on-site survey, with a final accreditation decision made at a later date. Surveyors could recommend:
- Preliminary accreditation
- Accreditation with follow-up survey
- Preliminary denial of accreditation
- Denial of accreditation
An organization’s accreditation is continuous as long as it has a full, unannounced survey within 36 months of the previous survey and it meets all accreditation-related requirements.
Benefits from Accreditation
The Gold Seal of Approval is a way to let medical professionals, government regulators, and patients know that an organization stands for quality care, and that it’s always seeking ways to identify known or unknown risks to patient safety.
In what other ways can an organization benefit from Joint Commission accreditation?
- It can earn various Joint Commission certifications for continued improvement and maintaining performance excellence
- It can connect with other like-minded organizations to collaborate on issues affecting the quality and safety of patient care
- It can attract more qualified personnel who prefer to serve in a prestigious environment
Earning Accreditation Means Maintaining Compliance
Earning the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval depends on a strong culture of compliance. Organizations that are challenged to manage compliance, or effectively demonstrate compliance, are unlikely to meet the Joint Commission’s rigorous standards.
The youCompli software platform can help. We monitor, read, and translate regulations into plain English. This enables health care organizations to easily choose which regulations are relevant to their organization, thus simplifying the implementation process. Our solution generates an end-to-end audit trail, tracking all compliance decisions and activity.
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