The Joint Commission’s (TJC) 2020 Survey Activity Guide notes most accreditation surveyors will arrive for site visits unannounced or with short notice. TJC suggests putting a plan in place that can be enacted when surveyors arrive. Here are some specific tips from TJC regarding when surveyors arrive on site.

  • Educate the staff members most commonly at the hospital entrance about the possibility of a TJC visit. These staff may include greeters, information desk staff, and security guards. Explain what TJC is and require they confirm surveyors’ identity with their picture identification badges.
  • Establish a protocol for who these staff members should notify when surveyors arrive.
  • Provide a list of names and phone numbers to contact, including alternatives if the primary contacts are unavailable.
  • Ask surveyors to wait in the lobby until the necessary facility contacts and leaders can come to greet surveyors.
  • The hospital contacts should confirm the surveyors’ identity with picture identification.
  • As soon as the surveyors’ identity is verified, provide the appropriate document for each program seeking accreditation.
  • If that information is not immediately available, they will begin the survey with an individual tracer.
  • Provide a base of operations for the surveyors. This area should be in a location that includes a desk or table, access to phones and the internet, and electrical outlets for plugging phone and laptop chargers.
  • Identify the employee at the hospital who will assist the surveyors with their access to all the electronic records.