Accreditation decision will be handled differently

Details still are being worked out

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations still is working out the details of how it will render an accreditation decision and how it will communicate that decision.

But information provided by Russell Massaro, MD, executive vice president for accreditation operations with the Joint Commission, indicates that some changes are in store in this area as well.

The new format, still being developed, should result in an accreditation decision and performance report that are more meaningful both to the organization and the general public, he says.

If the Joint Commission’s Board of Commissioners approves, the accreditation decision categories should be changed for January 2004.

"Accredited with Full Standards Compliance" will be changed to simply "Accredited." Also, "Accreditation with Requirements for Improvement" will be deleted altogether.

Those changes are intended to reflect the new survey process in which needed improvements are carried out before the Joint Commission’s final report and eliminate any distinction among accredited organizations. Organizations that receive Type I recommendations will have 30 days to submit a corrective action plan, and their accreditation status would not be changed during that 30 days, Massaro explains. At the end of that period, successful fulfillment of the recommendations will result in "Accredited" status.

If the organization still has recommendations outstanding at that point, it will be assigned the new category of "Accreditation Pending." The requirements for improvement would be subject to disclosure on performance reports. Other decision categories would not be changed.