Fixed performance areas for random surveys announced

Although the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) 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 its 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, spokesperson for JCAHO. These random unannounced surveys are conducted nine to 30 months following the organization's accreditation date.

The 2006 fixed performance areas for home care are: assessment and care/service, patient safety, and information management.

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