The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations compliance standards are standards for healthcare accreditation and certification that organizations use to assess the quality of their healthcare programs, reports the Joint Commission. The standards focus on the care and safety of patients. The Joint Commission uses input from health care experts, consumers, and government organizations such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for standards development.
The independent, nonprofit commission provides standards for hospitals, home health care, behavioral health facilities, laboratories and nursing-care centers, explains the Joint Commission. Accepting and implementing the standards is voluntary. There are more than 250 accreditation standards on details such as infection control, avoiding medical mistakes, emergency preparation, and patients' rights and education. Other standards assess the qualifications and competence of hospital personnel, and the data collection systems of health care organizations.
The process of standards development involves identifying issues and preparing draft standards, which are then reviewed by committees composed of health-care experts, according to the Joint Commission. Survey teams evaluate health-care organizations for standards compliance every three years, or every two years for laboratories. Surveyors are certified expert health-care professionals. They peruse medical records, evaluate the care of random patients, and conduct onsite observations and interviews.