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Preparing for Joint Commission Survey: How Workforce Management Software Can Help

Each year, health care facilities across the United States prepare for the voluntary process of Joint Commission accreditation. Once achieved, accreditation comes with numerous benefits for the health care institution and its patients. However, because standards are continually updated to keep pace with the changing industry, and because accreditation surveys take place every few years, organizations must be prepared.

"Since its establishment in 1951, The Joint Commission has accredited more than 4,000 health care facilities."

This process can easily become a complicated hurdle for today's health care providers, but it doesn't have to be. Workforce management software can offer the critical resources organizations need to be ready for their Joint Commission accreditation survey. 

Why pursue Joint Commission accreditation?

Since its establishment in 1951, The Joint Commission has accredited more than 4,000 health care facilities, including those providing general, psychiatric and specialty care. Overall, 88 percent of U.S. hospitals are Joint Commission accredited. And while certification and accreditation through the Joint Commission isn't a requirement for health care providers, many institutions elect to go this route due to the considerable benefits it can provide:

  • Strengthens quality of care and patient safety: These essentials are the focus of the Joint Commission's standards, and working toward achieving accreditation can provide the added motivation health care institutions need to continually improve their care and patient safety. What's more, accreditation communicates to the health care industry and local community the institution's commitment to quality and safety, increasing confidence for patients and strengthening the organization's reputation.
  • Enhances risk management efforts: Because the Joint Commission continually updates its standards based on the newest research and care strategies, institutions are able to remain on the cutting edge and improve their internal risk management processes.
  • Enables alignment with other regulatory requirements: While Joint Commission surveys are voluntary in the health care industry, certain states do have laws requiring institutions to achieve accreditation. Organizations that receive this from the Joint Commission may already be considered compliant and can forego additional inquiries, depending on state law.
  • Provides recognition throughout the industry: As one of the most trusted names in health care, Joint Commission accreditation allows an institution to receive recognition for their efforts from insurers and managed care providers. In addition, accreditation can streamline the deeming authority process for Medicare certification.

What's required?

The process for Joint Commission accreditation includes an intensive survey process, wherein experts review randomly selected patient files to gauge quality of care, patient safety and overall compliance with the Commission's standards. Observations also take place, and experts also commonly interview patients about their health care experience.

Individual standards vary depending on the type of facility. The Joint Commission offers several different accreditation programs with unique requirements for ambulatory, behavioral, critical access, home, nursing and hospital care, as well as for health care laboratory service providers. However, the key theme in every set of standards is a high focus on care and the ability to provide surveyors with the up-to-date documentation they need.

Nurse standing above bed of elderly patient in the hospital.
Joint Commission accreditation centers on quality care and patient safety.

How workforce management software can help

This process can be considerably difficult for institutions that don't have an advanced management system in place, particularly when it comes to ensuring that documents aren't expired and that all pertinent data is easily accessible.

An innovative workforce management system is the ideal solution here, helping to eliminate complexities and support organizations before, during and after the Joint Commission survey process by providing:

  • An encompassing list of Joint Commission requirements.
  • Automatic notifications that can be sent to specific stakeholders, including administrators or individual caregivers to provider reminders about expiring documents. Capabilities should enable the institution to auto send these notifications and their own chosen intervals.
  • The ability to upload caregiver certification and other credentials through a secure and accessible portal.
  • Automatic replacement which can load an updated document to replace an expired document.
  • Advanced archiving that enables documents - including expired assets - to be kept indefinitely for Joint Commission review.
  • The ability to internally audit all caregivers included in the workforce management system to determine needs for updated documents or credentials.

As the Gold Seal of Approval across the health care industry, Joint Commission accreditation is an essential process for today's hospitals and care provider facilities. With an innovative workforce management system in place, organizations can be confident in their ability to provide comprehensive documentation and information for the Joint Commission. This considerably streamlines the survey and approval process, especially for staffing agencies that work with multiple, different care facilities.

For more information about how a workforce management system can help your institution, contact BlueSky Medical Staffing Software today.