Regulatory agencies are put in place to ensure that health care organizations and the providers within them promote safety, legal compliance, and quality care for patients. Regulating health care is vital because if health care organizations were not required to be accredited patients would not feel safe when seeking health care services. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations otherwise known as JCAHO is a regulatory agency. The JCAHO “conducts periodic on-site surveys to verify that an accredited organization substantially complies with Joint Commission standards and continuously makes efforts to improve the care and services it provides” (The Joint Commission, 2010, p. 3). The JCAHO ensures that health care organizations and providers uphold the standards required. The JCAHO strives to constantly improve the safety and quality of care provided to patients; this is why the JCAHO has had a longstanding history. History of the Joint Commission of Health Care Organizations In 1910, Ernest A. Codman, M.D., realized that many health care providers were practicing medicine that was not in their scope of training. Codman then “proposed the end result system of hospital standardization. Codman thought that if hospitals were to track every patient and the patient were treated long enough it could be determined whether the treatment was effective and use the results to improve care” (2010, A Circular Century, p. 26). In 1913, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) was created and by 1918, the American College of Surgeons completed the first round of inspection of hospitals. When this was done the ACS found that only 89 out of 692 hospitals were meeting the minimum standards required. In 1951, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals was founded as a nonprofit organization (The Joint Commission, 2010). The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals has grown since first established in 1951; the JCAHO has become the leading provider when concerning accrediting health care organizations. The JCAHO’s mission statement states their goal is “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 healthcare organizations" (The Joint Commission, 2012, p. 1). In 1965, Congress passes the Social Security Amendment that gives hospitals that have been accredited by the JCAHO would be in compliance with the bulk of Medicare’s conditions and could participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs (The Joint Commission, 2010). From 1966 to the present accreditations have been expanded and include long-term care, home health care, psychiatric facilities, and managed care facilities. The JCAHO has expanded a lot when concerning accreditation the organization decided to change their name to the Joint Commission. The JCAHO continues to ensure that health care organizations are functioning at the required level to ensure the safety and quality care for patients (The Joint Commission, 2012). The Source and Scope of the JCAHO’s Authority
“The highest levels of authority are the federal and state laws in your jurisdiction. The laws not only are the statutes, but also the administrative regulations, which are especially important because regulations contain the details to implement the laws” (Shams, 2007, p. 1). The next level of authority falls under the Joint Commissions policies and procedures developed to address different circumstances when a health care facility is experiencing accreditation (Shams, 2007, p. 1). The JCAHO can give accreditation to health care organizations, which are in compliance with policies and procedures. If these policies and procedures are not followed the JCAHO does not have the authority to give fines to a health care organization but by not meeting these standards can result in an organization losing their accreditation. By...
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