Fixed performance areas listed for random surveys

Although the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations begins unannounced surveys for all organizations in 2006, it does not mean that random unannounced surveys will end.

Because random unannounced surveys are one way that the Joint Commission can demonstrate that organizations remain in compliance with Joint Commission standards throughout the three-year accreditation cycle, random unannounced surveys will continue to be performed, even after January 2006.

"The Joint Commission will continue to conduct unannounced surveys on a 5% random sample of accredited organizations every year through 2008," says Mark Forstneger, spokesman for the Joint Commission. These random unannounced surveys are conducted nine to 30 months following the organization’s accreditation date.

The 2006 fixed performance areas for outpatient surgery programs surveyed as part of a hospital are: assessment and care/service; medication management; patient safety; and the 2006 National Patient Safety Goals that are applicable to services provided.

The 2006 fixed performance areas for outpatient surgery programs surveyed under the ambulatory care standards are: quality improvement expertise and activity, information management, patient safety and the 2006 National Patient Safety Goals that are applicable to services provided by the organization.

In addition to the fixed performance areas, organizations selected for random unannounced surveys will be surveyed on variable components that are specific to the organization being surveyed.

For more information about random unannounced surveys, contact Kevin Hickey, director of the Management Support Unit, Joint Commission, at khickey@jcaho.org.