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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

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Introduction to Health Services Research : A Self-Study Course

Module 3: Selected Players (Federal and Private) (Page 19 of 27)

Joint Commission (Rebranded from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations)

Snapshot of the JCAHO home page. Click to visit the site. Close the open window to return to this page.

Founded in 1951, the Joint Commission (http://www.jointcommission.org/) is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of care in organized healthcare settings.

The Joint Commission evaluates, accredits, consults, and sets standards for long-term care facilities, ambulatory healthcare organizations, home care agencies, hospices, hospitals, health care delivery networks, and organizations offering major mental health services.

Accreditation surveys assess the extent of an organization's compliance with applicable standards and provide information and guidance to help the organization improve its future performance.

The Joint Commission develops a standard when a need is identified to address a particular issue or dimension of care. New technologies, increased knowledge, or consumer demand for accountability typically bring about the need for a new, revised, or deleted standard.

In March 2006, JCAHO rebranded itself as the Joint Commission and developed a new Web site, logo and a new tagline, "Helping Health Care Organizations Help Patients."

JCAHO gives an annual award, the Ernest A. Codman Award, to "recognize achievement by organizations and individuals in the use of process and outcomes measures to improve organization performance and quality of care." To learn more about the Codman Award winners, visit the Joint Commission's Codman Award Web page. You will recall that you learned about Ernest Codman earlier in the history of health services module.

Notification Services

Receive Joint Commission e-mail newsletters and information by subscribing to their notification service. The list of newsletters and information available for subscription is quite lengthy.

Additional information on the Joint Commission available in Module 2.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is the Joint Commission so important to librarians, especially hospital librarians?
  2. Visitors to the Joint Commission Web site will find considerable information. What topical areas or information can you find on the site that would be useful for patients and/or researchers?
  3. What other entities or groups are targeted for information on the Joint Commission site? How does this help librarians? Health services researchers?
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