The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations late last month named William Jacott, M.D., a past critic of the JCAHO, to head up a new initiative to strengthen the organization's relationships with the physician community.
Jacott, 63, has been one of the American Medical Association's representatives on the JCAHO board since 1992 and was board chairman in 1999 and 2000. He also served on the AMA board from 1989 to 1998.
In his new role as a salaried consultant, Jacott will work with the AMA and other major physician professional organizations to build awareness of JCAHO standards and the role of the accreditation process in supporting patient-care priorities. The job involves reaching out to state and county medical societies, hospital medical staffs and other physician groups to identify safety- and quality-related issues that might be addressed by the JCAHO and to determine what resources physicians need to fulfill responsibilities for improving care.
As a JCAHO commissioner in the mid-1990s, Jacott led AMA efforts to create a streamlined survey focused on increasing quality of care. He then characterized the survey process as "cumbersome, costly and inefficient," focused on punitive rather than educational and user-friendly aims. As JCAHO board chairman, Jacott directed a 2000 analysis that framed strategic priorities, including the physician-outreach initiative.