JCAHO is a regulatory agency established, I believe, in the 1950s, probably earlier.
It was started by surgeons who demanded better standards of care than what the hospitals were providing. The also wanted consitent standards across hospitals.
Not a bad thing at all.
However,, it has grown so large it encompasses everything we do here in America. It reaches through all aspects of hospitals, and anything a hospital expands into, home health, prompt care, clinics etc.
It is good to do the right thing for healthcare, I have no arguement about what they say we should do. It is the mounds of documentation you have to do to prove you meet the regulations.
They have a fairly big bite... if you fail [hardly ever happens] you lose your ability to bill medicare and lose revenue.
Other hospitals hold up their numbers as a marketing tool, so if you don't do well, you could lose patients, and revenue.
Patients can now look up hospitals to see how they scored, again a chance to lose patients if you don't do well.
On top of that we pay thousands and thousands of dollars for the 'honor' of getting surveyed, not including the fortune we spend to prepare for the survey.
In theory, we should live according to the reccommendations every day, and we all try. but in reality, there's always a mad scramble the months before a survey double and triple checking things, coaching staff and making changes.
Some hospitals are getting away from JCAHO and using other surveying bodies, but it's not a popular trend yet.
Sorry if this is too wordy, hope you fine folks 'down under' don't have these kinds of headaches!