Meeting Joint Commission Compliance Standards Using Hospital Environmental Monitoring

July 11, 2022

Leverage the proper tools to meet Joint Commission standards.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations — better known as JCAHO or the Joint Commission — is an independent nonprofit organization that focuses on setting standards and guidelines for the healthcare industry. 

Through their selective process, the Joint Commission accredits more than 22,000 healthcare organizations in the United States. On top of that, the international branch accredits medical services across the globe. 

Getting accredited is voluntary and not required by the government or external regulators. The Joint Commission, however, helps provide pathways for accreditation for healthcare organizations — advocating for continuous improvement of quality of care and standards of safety. Researchers develop standards through conducting surveys, auditing, and providing platforms to support challenges facing healthcare professionals.

To establish these standards, the Joint Commission created their own rules for compliance. 

What Is Joint Commision Compliance? 

According to their official website, Joint Commission standards are “the basis of an objective evaluation process that can help healthcare organizations measure, assess, and improve performance.” 

These standards center on the importance of patient, individual, or resident care. Altogether, they provide an understanding of how an organization should function, providing safe and high-quality care. 

Thus, the primary goal of Joint Commission compliance is to define, monitor, and support healthcare provider standards. 

How and Why Healthcare Facilities Apply for Joint Commission Accreditation

As stated, Joint Commission accreditation and certification is a voluntary process. With that said, any legitimate healthcare provider should seek accreditation. 

Joint Commission accreditation can help an organization improve the quality of care while streamlining operations. Moreover, accreditation helps reduce liability risks and gives healthcare providers a more extensive understanding of their work and impact. 

Achieving accreditation also helps to put patients at ease. Joint Commission accreditation ensures current and future patients feel that their healthcare facility meets high quality and safety standards.

Joint Commission accreditation requires a thorough look at the current processes of your healthcare facility — staff, environments, buildings, etc. — and ensuring they meet all rules and regulations. While this may seem overwhelming, the process is quite intuitive.

Detailing the Standards of Joint Commission Accreditation

The Joint Commission's standards change per healthcare facility. Ambulatory health care clinics, assisted living communities, behavioral health care facilities, human services, critical access hospitals, home care organizations, hospitals, laboratory services, nurse care centers, and pharmacies all face different standards. 

Accreditation standards cover an evolving range of subjects, including infection control, medication safety, management, error prevention and reporting, staff credentialing and certification, emergency management, patient rights, privacy, and education.

To understand the steps your healthcare facility may need to take, we recommend visiting the Joint Commission’s website. There, you can walk through the process of your specific facility.

How Environmental Monitoring Solutions Help Streamline Achieving Joint Commission Standards

One essential part of meeting Joint Commission standards is accurate temperature monitoring and reporting. Temperature monitoring is a common obstacle in healthcare; it is also a frequent topic within the Joint Commission’s accreditation process across facilities.

For example, hospitals feature hundreds (if not thousands) of temperature-sensitive areas. Refrigerators, freezers, operating rooms, patient rooms, and waiting rooms — all require monitoring, as will any area containing pharmaceuticals, blood, specimens, blankets, or food. To meet standards, hospitals must leverage effective temperature tracking.

It can prove time consuming and labor intensive to ensure that a staff oversees the temperature conditions of these various sectors and reports on them manually. In the event that temperature issues arise within the healthcare facility and are not dealt with efficiently, Joint Commission compliance of the facility could be at risk. 

This is why it can be beneficial to utilize an automated environmental monitoring system to address any temperature issues promptly. Not only does automated environmental monitoring and reporting allow for efficient troubleshooting to help your facility comply with Joint Commission standards, but it also helps simplify Joint Commission compliance preparations by accommodating automated reporting.

Leverage Prosight Environmental Monitoring Solutions To Help Meet Joint Commission Standards

The Prosight Solution helps ease the environmental monitoring process for healthcare providers. Our systems help regulate and automate the collection of temperature data throughout a facility — creating a record and logging temperature readings 24/7. This automation helps your facility to maintain compliance standards with ease. 

You can learn more about Prosight’s environmental monitoring systems work here.

George Valentine
AVP, New Growth and Development, Connected Health

George is an entrepreneurial executive and serial entrepreneur successful in launching, growing, and managing technology-based companies. George joined Cox Communication’s Innovation group in 2014 and is responsible for developing, incubating, and executing the company’s Connected Health strategy, including solution and partnership development, investments, acquisitions, and market trials. Prior to Cox, George founded two successful technology companies, performed a venture-backed company turnaround, and led large enterprise projects as a KPMG management consultant. George holds an MBA and B.S. in Finance from the University of South Carolina. George, his wife, and two children live in Atlanta, GA.