What Are JCAHO Environment of Care Standards?


Quick Answer

JCAHO Environment of Care standards are a specific subset of the JCAHO rules and regulations that cover the physical surroundings of patients during care. Environment of Care standards include best practices for the handling, labeling and storing of hazardous materials; the storage, disposal and transportation of hazardous waste; training on how to use and clean up spills of hazardous materials and hazardous waste; and maintenance of facilities and equipment.

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Full Answer

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations rules and regulations are the basis of an evaluation process that helps health care organizations measure, assess and improve performance. Health care organizations must apply and be measured against these standards by the Joint Commission so that it can determine whether or not to provide accreditation.

Joint Commission standards are developed with input from health care professionals and providers, subject matter experts, consumers, relevant government agencies, and employers. Once prepared with each of these parties' input, the standards are reviewed and approved by the Board of Commissioners. Standards are added only if they contribute to patient safety or quality of care, positively impact health outcomes, meet relevant laws and regulations, and can be measured. The standards focus on important patient, individual or resident care and organization functions that are essential to providing safe, high-quality care.

While accreditation through the JCAHO is not required for a health care organization to provide services, successfully completing the accreditation process gives the public the knowledge that it is a good selection to receive health care services from. The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization. It accredits and certifies approximately 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.

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