The Joint Commission released its revised standards effective Jan. 1, 2009.
The reorganization of its standards, rationales and elements of performance was part of a three-year project under its Standards Improvement Initiative. The goal was to streamline and clarify the standards to make them relevant to specific care settings, a Joint Commission spokesman said.
The 2009 revision was phase one of the ongoing project, the spokesman said. The commission said the revision also will increase objectivity in the survey process and allow for better accuracy in measuring hospital compliance with standards.
In addition to the revisions posted online, providers can use a history-tracking report to compare the revised standards to the current documents and see where elements have been renumbered or moved to different chapters. Phase one focuses on hospitals, critical-access hospitals, ambulatory care, office-based surgery and home-care settings. Phase two, scheduled to take effect January 2010, will include revised standards for behavioral health, laboratory and long-term-care facilities. -- by Jean DerGurahian