The Joint Commission wants to create a new "corporate university without walls" for healthcare professionals at the graduate level.
The Academy for Healthcare Quality is designed to hone the skills of healthcare executives, practitioners, consultants, employee benefits managers, third-party payers and government regulators. And it will provide initial and continuing education for Joint Commission surveyors.
The plan was approved at the January meeting of the board of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
The next step, said Deal Chandler,
JCAHO vice president for education, is to raise more than $1 million over a five-year period from external sources.
"We will be developing a comprehensive national curriculum in leadership, quality management and methods, and quality-related evaluation in healthcare organizations," Chandler said. The JCAHO intends to operate and manage the academy in conjunction with a group of prestigious universities, whose faculty will participate in curriculum and instruction and development of a certification exam.
The curriculum will instruct students how to set standards for patient outcomes, resource consumption and customer satisfaction. It also will look at current topics such as managed care.
If all goes according to plan, the first surveyor candidates would enroll in early 1998. Healthcare professionals and consultants would start course work sometime after that.
Eligibility requirements have not been completed, Chandler said.