Joint Commission Safety Goals and Accreditation, do they relate to quality of care>?

Ruth Ryan ruth at RYAN-GRAHAM.COM
Fri Dec 21 16:03:52 UTC 2018

Hello All,

The Joint Commission or TJC has been much in the news of late, e.g., Wall Street Journal (Hospital Watchdog Gives Seal of Approval, Even After Problems Emerge 9.6.17), AMA News (Trump administration weighing possible financial conflicts in hospital accreditation process, 12.19.18), and now this article by Ashish Jha:
Accreditation, Quality, and Making Hospital Care Better. The JAMA Forum December 18, 2018 Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH.
JAMA. 2018;320(23):2410-2411. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.18810.
referring to this new study:
Lam MB, Jha, A et al. Association between patient outcomes and accreditation in US hospitals: Association between patient outcomes and accreditation in US hospitals: observational study
Jha concludes from this recent comparative study that accreditation by TJC, the states or any other body is not associated with improved outcomes or patient experience.

He states, "The problem, it seems, is that accrediting organizations are not focusing on what actually matters to patients. The criticism that these organizations spend enormous amounts of energy requiring hospitals to focus on things like signs in the hallway or how documentation is done appears to have some merit. We need to reexamine the standards required for accreditation to ensure that they are promoting what's actually important: the health, safety, and optimal experience of patients."

Diagnosis is largely unaddressed by the patient safety goals and measures of either TJC  or CMS.  How can we who are advocates of improving diagnosis participate in this discussion of changing the quality measures used by accrediting bodies?


Ruth Ryan RN, MSW, CPHRM
Telephone (504) 256-8797
Email ruth at<mailto:ruth at>
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