Joint Commission Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) is an organization that develops and maintains standards to promote compliance in regards to acceptable levels of care that should be given to patients. If a facility has been accepted by JCAHO, it is like a stamp of approval for the hospital when someone in looking at a hospital for surgery, to have their baby, etc. JCAHO is not mandatory for a hospital to operate and has no legal power. Southern Maryland Hospital is JCAHO accredited. Preparation for such a survey should start with the administrators and high level employees who will plan and then proceed to implement decisions with all staff within the facility. It is important that all staff is aware because various departments will be evaluated. A hospital interested in becoming JCAHO certified should review any literature that is published by JCAHO followed by a review of their internal policies and procedures, and a self audit. The literature should be shared with all employees that may be affected. Once an internal self audit is done finding should be reviewed and analyzed and a plan of corrections should be made which identifies areas that were out of compliance with established standards of care. Once a hospital feels that they are prepared for a JCHAO survey, they can apply for it. The JCAHO survey is planned rather than a surprise to the facility. Once the date of the survey is made available the hospital notifies staff and patients. If the survey is a success, the certificate is publicized. A hospital is surveyed once every three years unless there are problems. If that turns out to be the case, they are done yearly.
Sources; Southern Maryland Hospital