SDS Accreditation Update

Federal agency satisfied with association firewall

The investigative arm of Congress reported that The Joint Commission and its not-for-profit educational and consulting affiliate, Joint Commission Resources (JCR), have made progress in the past several years to prevent improper sharing of facility-specific information, though continued monitoring is warranted.

Three members of Congress, including Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), the new chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, requested the Government Accountability Office's (GAO's) report to help determine whether the relationship between The Joint Commission and JCR represents a conflict of interest that affects the accrediting process. The report follows a 2004 GAO report that identified flaws in The Joint Commission's hospital accreditation survey process.

"Ensuring the independence of the Joint Commission's accreditation process is vitally important," according to the GAO's new report. "To prevent the improper sharing of facility- specific information, it would be prudent for the Joint Commission and JCR to continue to assess the firewall and other related mechanisms."