Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) Introduction
JCAHO is an abbreviation for Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations is a non-for-profit organization that seeks 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. It is an organization made up of individuals from the private medical sector to develop and maintain standards of quality in medical facilities in the United States. Although JCAHO has no legal enforcement power, and has no official connection to the US Government regulatory agencies, many medical facilities rely on JCAHO accreditation procedures to indicate to the public that their particular institution meets quality standards. JCAHO and its policies have taken on a real importance in the medical field, despite the lack of official government sanction.
The Joint Commission is an independent, private sector in the United States that administers accreditation programs for hospitals and other healthcare-related organizations. The Commission develops performance standards that address crucial elements of operation, such as patient care, medication safety, infection control and consumer rights. Most state governments require that healthcare organizations be accredited by the Commission as a condition for licensing and Medicaid reimbursement. JCAHO evaluates and accredits approximately 18,000 health care organizations, including hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), health care networks, and clinical laboratories.
History of JACHO
The Joint Commission was founded in 1951 as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Joint Commission Resources (JCR), a global affiliate group, oversees the Joint Commission International (JCI).
Health care in the early 1900's was sadly lacking in quality and in any type of standardization of care. In 1910, Dr. Ernest Codman proposed the end result system of hospital standardization which was a system that tracked all patients from the beginning of care to discharge (or death) with the goal of determining whether or not treatment was successful. These results would then be used in the care of patients with similar conditions. A colleague of Dr. Codman, Dr. Franklin Martin, embraced this concept of standardization and consequently founded, in 1913, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) with the mission to improve the quality of health care. In1917, the ACS developed the first set of "Minimum Standards for Hospitals" and subsequently began on-site inspections of hospitals in 1918. Only 89 of the first 692 hospitals surveyed met these minimum standards. As the accreditation process became more time consuming, the ACS elected to transfer the Hospital Standardization Program to the newly created Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH). The JCAH officially began offering accreditation in January of 1953 (BNET, 2010). The ensuing years brought several changes to the Commission, the most notable being the addition of accreditation programs for non acute care facilities. A set of standards was developed for each of the accreditation programs and revised each year.. In 1964, JCAH begins charging for surveys. In 1969, JCAHO establishes four accreditation councils to develop standards and survey accreditation procedures. Two important changes took place in 1987. The name of the organization was changed from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals(JCAH) to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) to better reflect its mission, cover all health care industuries and the "Agenda for Change" was launched with a set of initiatives which placed major emphasis on the performance of the organization rather than the processes employed in the facility. The 1990s was a decade of...
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