The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has informed its several hundred surveyors that they won't be able to do private accreditation-readiness consulting on the side once a revamped accreditation process takes effect Jan. 1, 2004. By March 1, 2003, all surveyors will have to submit a letter of intent to abide by the prohibition and stay on as a member of the JCAHO survey force for 2004. The policy change, approved Oct. 31 by the commission's executive board, was communicated in a recorded message by Russell Massaro, executive vice president of accreditation operations. Surveyors also will be prohibited from providing consulting services through Joint Commission Resources, a not-for-profit subsidiary that has a "preferred provider" relationship with the JCAHO for educational and consulting services to accredited organizations. Massaro said the ban on readiness consulting stems in part from the JCAHO's intent to shift the focus of accreditation to continuous operational improvement from short-sighted preparation for the triennial visit. "Allowing our own surveyors to provide private consulting services for the purposes of survey/accreditation preparation is inconsistent with the model," he said. -- John Morrissey
JCAHO to surveyors: No more readiness consulting
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