The death knell has sounded for a continuing education program aimed partly at training surveyors from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
Coincidentally, talk about closing the program-the Academy for Healthcare Quality-comes when the Joint Commission is considering revamping its basic survey process because of widespread industry dissatisfaction (June 21, p. 8).
The academy's board of governors voted in June to stop developing the program. However, that decision is pending final approval from the Joint Commission's Board of Commissioners, which is scheduled to meet July 30-31.
The pending closure of the academy would come before the program ever got off the ground.
The 2-year-old academy, called a "corporate university without walls," was intended to be a continuing education and certification program for healthcare executives, practitioners, quality managers, consultants, corporate benefits managers, representatives from government regulatory agencies and Joint Commission surveyors.
But classes never started, and the academy had done only some curriculum development, said Charlene Hill, a Joint Commission spokeswoman.
"I guess as they got further into it . . . they learned the market wasn't there to support it," Hill said.
The Joint Commission couldn't raise all the money needed to develop the academy, said Nancy Deal Chandler, vice president of education at the Joint Commission. "It's just a very tough environment for fund raising," she said.
After the Joint Commission approved the plan for the academy in January 1997, more than $1 million needed to be raised over a five-year period, Chandler said.
The Joint Commission did get a $250,000 grant to support the academy.
"We never even started to generate revenues," Hill said.
Although the academy is closing, the Joint Commission did reap some benefit from it, Chandler said. Some of the curricula developed will be used to train surveyors.