In an industry as hectic as healthcare, finding the time and discipline to evaluate yourself can be very difficult.
The day to day demands of behavioral health and addiction treatment can make it challenging for an organization to objectively assess its overall performance.
However, being able to monitor your operation’s performance is critical to the short term success and long term growth of your organization.
Fortunately, there are organizations that understand the importance of monitoring the performance of providers to improve processes and facilitate consistent growth.
This article will highlight the most prominent of such organizations – The Joint Commission – and how their accreditation process can improve both patient and organizational outcomes.
What is The Joint Commission?
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) is the largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare. They establish treatment and operational standards that serve as the structure to an unbiased evaluation process for healthcare organizations.
A non-profit organization, The Joint Commission collaborates with a variety of experienced healthcare professionals to create and enforce their requirements.
By adhering to JCAHO standards, organizations can more precisely measure, assess and improve performance.
What Can You Earn from The Joint Commission?
Healthcare organizations can receive a JCAHO seal of approval in two ways:
- Accreditation: Earn accreditation by meeting the requirements set for care and services provided for virtually any chronic disease and condition.
- Certification: There are some diseases or conditions that JCAHO has not established accreditation guidelines for. In these cases, your facility can become certified in these specific diseases or conditions.
How Long Does Accreditation/Certification Last?
Accreditation is awarded for three years, besides laboratory accreditation, which must be earned every two years.
Disease-specific care and services certifications are awarded for two years.
How Can JCAHO Accreditation/Certification Improve Your Outcomes?
The Joint Commission creates and updates their stringent standards to promote the highest quality of care in those facilities who seek the JCAHO Gold Seal of Approval. Put simply, The Joint Commission provides guidelines to best serve your patients and run your operation.
Let’s take a look at the many positives that come with JCAHO accreditation and certification.
Insurance Companies May Reward Healthcare Organizations Who Adhere to JCAHO Guidelines
Because JCAHO standards promote effective and safe treatment, they can be considered more insurable than organizations who cannot show the same dedication to excellence.
If your facility is JCAHO accredited, you may be entitled to a lower cost in liability insurance coverage, as well as substantial reimbursements.
Furthermore, when one organization needs to refer a patient to another care provider, some insurance companies will request that they refer the patient to a JCAHO accredited operation. In this way, if your facility earns a Golden Seal of Approval, you may receive a higher rate of referrals.
Accreditation/Certification May Satisfy State Regulations
Some states may require certain health care organizations to acquire an accreditation as part of their quality oversight programs. If this is the case, being accredited by JCAHO may mean that your organization would not have to seek any other inspection to fulfill the state’s regulations.
JCAHO accreditation is a badge of honor for healthcare organizations.
Current employees can feel proud they are working in a qualified and distinguished place. Prospective employees may be attracted to the level of quality and commitment your facility achieves through a JCAHO fulfillment. As a result, your facility can attract qualified and experienced personnel.
And, most importantly, patients can feel at ease. JCAHO designation proves that your facility goes above and beyond to provide the best possible treatment, which can foster a high level of confidence in your quality of care.
Improved Decision Making
Many JCAHO requirements focus on measurement-based care that tracks the history and progress of a patient’s treatment.
Through consistent monitoring and clinical decision support tools, your organization will be prepared to determine the best course for your patients based on real-time data. As a result, overall patient outcomes are improved.
The JCAHO standards are based on the notion that patients are more than just names on a chart – they are individual humans with unique needs and values. Certain familial and cultural factors have been incorporated into the JCAHO requirements to promote the satisfaction of all patients.
JCAHO guidelines facilitate the coordinated treatment of patients across the full continuum of care.
For example, The Joint Commission’s standards requires that all patients’ necessary medical data follow them when they move to different levels of care, or different sites.
Greater Access to Care for Patients
The Joint Commission standards call for a variety of practices that improve the access patients have to treatment.
Patients of a JCAHO accredited organization will experience limited waiting times for pressing treatment, extended hours of operation, 24/7 remote or electronic access to providers, and secondary communication methods.
External, Intensive Review Process
Fulfilling every JCAHO standard can be rather difficult for a health care organization.
Adhering to their guidelines can sometimes feel disruptive and laborious for clinicians. However, needing to satisfy The Joint Commission’s comprehensive requirements should be considered a luxury as well.
The accreditation and certification standards give your facility a meticulously structured blueprint to provide the highest quality of care to your patients.
In fact, a case can be made that The Joint Commission has the much more difficult task of creating and updating standards for the entire spectrum of health care. As a provider, all you need to do is follow their directions to succeed.
Accreditation with AURA
We hope you have a better understanding of the JCAHO process and the benefits that come with accreditation.
We at Sigmund are so glad that providers have a resource like the Joint Commission to set standards designed to improve their process and outcomes.
It’s important to note that the Joint Commission isn’t the only accrediting body available to providers. Another nationally recognized organization is The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Services (CARF). Check out our blog post that explores the CARF process to see if it would be a good fit for your organization.
The JCAHO standards reflect much of Sigmund’s internal philosophies about our product and services. AURA, Sigmund’s enterprise software solution, was built with the user and the patient in mind.
As a result, our platform is naturally equipped to facilitate a JCAHO accreditation or certification for any provider.
Curious to see how AURA can empower your organization to fulfill The Joint Commission’s requirements? Reach out to one of our knowledgable professionals today, we’d love to walk you through it. And if you’re interested in experiencing the power of AURA in real-time, click here to schedule a demo!