Jcaho Standards

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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If you're a medical care provider or other health care organization, it's imperative that you meet all JCAHO standards to avoid being fined or shut down. JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) is the agency responsible for evaluating and accrediting health care institutions throughout the U.S. It is governed by a Board of Commissioners comprised of doctors and other health care providers, medical directors, ethicists, and labor reps.

JCAHO is charged with accrediting more than 16,000 health care institutions in the United States--a daunting task by anyone's standard. Still, the agency seeks to ensure that all providers are administering care in a manner that satisfies local and federal laws. Patients' rights and quality of care come first, as does the organizations' ability to control disease.

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JCAHO standards apply not just to an institution's ability to meet the needs of its patients, but its effectiveness in doing so. The agency focuses on accountability by requiring hospitals and doctors' offices to regularly meet the standards established by its board. It is not enough for a health care provider to satisfy these requirements one time only. Organizations must meet expectations at least once every three years, or else risk losing their accreditation.

Since 1951, JCAHO has been the country's best-known accreditation agency, sending auditors to thousands of sites each year. If you work in the medical field, you are required to provide material safety data sheets for every chemical compound in your facility. Along with a working MSDS database, you may need to provide additional evidence of proper safety training for all your staff in order to earn your JCAHO accreditation.

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