What Are the JCAHO Standards for Hospital Accreditation?

The Joint Commission, formerly known as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, standards for hospital accreditation are a set of measures used to help hospitals assess and improve their performance. These standards facilitate the delivery of safe, high-quality care and are adapted with input from health care professionals, government agencies and subject matter experts, says the Joint Commission.

Joint Commission standards for hospital accreditation are located in the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals. Each of the standards has one or more EPs, or elements of performance, and each standard has its own unique chapter within CAMH, states the American Society for Healthcare Engineering.

The Joint Commission standards that have the greatest impact on hospital environment and performance include those related to life safety, environment of care and emergency management. Life safety measures a hospital’s ability to respond to fires and other emergencies. Environment of care measures areas such as security, hazardous materials and waste, medical equipment, utility systems and environmental safety. Emergency management measures a hospital’s ability to plan for and respond to various types of emergencies. In order to receive Joint Commission accreditation, a facility must demonstrate its compliance by drafting and maintaining policies addressing these standards and agreeing to be subject to periodic, unscheduled audits by Joint Commission surveyors, according to ASHE.