Facts about hospital accreditation
The Joint Commission has accredited hospitals for more than 60 years and today it accredits approximately 4,168 general, children’s, long term acute, psychiatric, rehabilitation and specialty hospitals, and 378 critical access hospitals, through a separate accreditation program. Approximately 82 percent of the nation's hospitals are currently accredited by The Joint Commission.
If you have a concern that you feel we have not adequately addressed, you may contact The Joint Commission by phone at 800-994-6610; fax at 630-792-5636; www.jointcommission.org; One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181 and/or the New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services Complaint Hotline at 1-800-792-9770
Any health care organization may apply for Joint Commission accreditation under the Hospital Accreditation Standards if all the following requirements are met:
The organization is in the United States or its territories or, if outside the United States, is operated by the U.S. government, under a charter of the U.S. Congress.
The organization assesses and improves the quality of its services. This process includes a review of care by clinicians, when appropriate.
The organization identifies the services it provides, indicating which services it provides directly, under contract, or through some other arrangement.
The organization provides services addressed by the Joint Commission’s standards.
If the organization uses its Joint Commission accreditation for deemed status purposes, the organization meets the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services definition of a “hospital.”
Benefits of accreditation
Hospitals seek Joint Commission accreditation because it:
• Helps organize and strengthen patient safety efforts.
• Strengthens community confidence in the quality and safety of care, treatment and services.
• Provides a competitive edge in the marketplace.
• Improves risk management and risk reduction.
• May reduce liability insurance costs.
• Provides education on good practices to improve business operations.
• Provides professional advice and counsel, enhancing staff education.
• Provides a customized, intensive review.
• Enhances staff recruitment and development.
• Provides deeming authority for Medicare certification.
• Recognized by insurers and other third parties.
• Provides a framework for organizational structure and management.
• May fulfill regulatory requirements in select states.
Joint Commission standards address the hospital’s performance in specific areas, and specify requirements to ensure that patient care is provided in a safe manner and in a secure environment. The Joint Commission develops its standards in consultation with health care experts, providers and researchers, as well as measurement experts, purchasers and consumers. For 2011, the standards-based performance areas for hospitals are:
• Environment of Care
• Emergency Management
• Human Resources
• Infection Prevention and Control
• Information Management
• Life Safety
• Medication Management
• Medical Staff
• National Patient Safety Goals
• Performance Improvement
• Provision of Care, Treatment, and Services
• Record of Care, Treatment, and Services
• Rights and Responsibilities of the Individual
• Transplant Safety
• Waived Testing