Previously known as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and is still more commonly known by the acronym JCAHO, the Joint Commission is a non-profit, independent organization which evaluates and accredits healthcare organizations in the US.
And in the late 1990s, JCI or Joint Commission International was founded in order to survey hospitals outside of the US. JCI— also a non-profit organization— currently accredits healthcare facilities in South America, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
Developed by international experts, JCI’s accreditation program sets standards for processes, structures, and outcomes for health care institutions. The requirements include international safety protocols for patients and to highlight problematic areas in health and prescribe expert- and evidence-based consensus solutions. JCI accreditation is available for academic medical centers and hospitals, home care agencies, laboratories, ambulatory care facilities, primary care services, medical transport organizations, and long-term care organizations.
The JCI accreditation process focuses on patients’ treatment and care as well as the organization’s clinical systems and management. The JCI standards outline the assessment of key roles and functions of health care organizations and hospitals, including meeting and exceeding international objectives and goals of patient’s safety, assessment and care processes, access to care, education, infection control, organizational management and leadership, facility management and human resources and information management.
JCI Accreditation Process
The first step of the process is obtaining a copy of the JCI standards and preparing for accreditation. Once a hospital or healthcare organization is prepared to apply for JCI accreditation, they must take part in trial surveys, then a full survey and stressing any fails and gaps in the organization.
The organization should submit their application and schedules survey dates. During a full survey, JCI surveyors will look back over the 4-month period preceding the start of the survey to judge performance over a period of time. Follow-up action may be carried out after the survey. By the end of the survey, the JCI decision will be given.
The process of obtaining a JCI accreditation can take between 1 – 2 years. Meanwhile, the cost of accreditation will depend on the size and complexity of the organization, which determines just how long the survey will take to carry out and how many surveyors are needed. Furthermore, the organization will also pay the cost of accommodation and transportation for the JCI team.
JCI Accreditation Benefits
- Standards developed by health care experts from around the world.
- On-site evaluations conducted by highly trained patient safety experts and clinicians.
- Strengthens community confidence in the safety and quality of care.
- Improves risk management and reduction of risks.
- Provides education on the leading practices in order to improve business and clinical processes.