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Used with Permission. Introduction to JCAHO. George Mason University College of Nursing and Health Science Regulatory Requirements for Health Systems Summer 2004. JCAHO Mission:.

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introduction to jcaho

Used with Permission

Introduction to JCAHO

George Mason University

College of Nursing and Health Science

Regulatory Requirements for Health Systems

Summer 2004


JCAHO Mission:

To continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of health care accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in health care organizations.


What JCAHO does:

The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits nearly 17,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.

An independent, not-for-profit organization, JCAHO is the nation's predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

Since 1951, JCAHO has developed state-of-the-art, professionally based standards and evaluated the compliance of health care organizations against these benchmarks.


JCAHO accredits:

  • General, psychiatric, children's and rehabilitation hospitals.
  • Critical access hospitals.
  • Health care networks, including managed care plans, preferred provider organizations, integrated delivery networks, and managed behavioral health care organizations.
  • Home care organizations, including those that provide home health services, personal care and support services, home infusion and other pharmacy services, durable medical equipment services and hospice services.
  • Nursing homes and other long term care facilities, including subacute care programs, dementia special care programs and long term care pharmacies.
  • Assisted living facilities that provide or coordinate personal services, 24-hour supervision and assistance (scheduled and unscheduled), activities and health-related services.
  • Behavioral health care organizations, including those that provide mental health and addiction services, and services to persons with developmental disabilities of various ages, in various organized service settings.
  • Ambulatory care providers, for example, outpatient surgery facilities, rehabilitation centers, infusion centers, group practices as well as office-based surgery.
  • Clinical laboratories, including independent or freestanding laboratories, blood transfusion and donor centers, and public health laboratories.

JCAHO accreditation:

  • Is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization's commitment to meeting certain performance standards.
  • To earn and maintain accreditation, an organization must undergo an on-site survey by a JCAHO survey team at least every three years.
  • Laboratories must be surveyed every two years.

JCAHO Governance:

29 Member -- Board of Commissioners

JCAHO Corporate Members:

American College of Physicians

American Society of Internal Medicine

American College of Surgeons

American Dental Association

American Hospital Association

American Medical Association


Benefits of JCAHO accreditation:

  • Leads to improved patient care.
  • Demonstrates the organization’s commitment to safety and quality.
  • Offers an educational onsite survey experience.
  • Supports and enhances safety and quality efforts.
  • Strengthens and supports recruitment and retention efforts.
  • May substitute for federal certification surveys for Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Helps secure managed care contracts.
  • Facilitates the organization’s business strategies.
  • Provides a competitive advantage.
  • Enhances the organization’s image to the public, purchasers and payers.
  • Fulfills licensure requirements for many states.
  • Recognized by insurers and other third parties.
  • Strengthens community confidence.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (June 2003) website, Facts about the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (June 2003) website, A Journey through history of the Joint Commission.