I want honest opinions here. I consider myself one of the many that think the Joint Commission has outlived its usefullness. Every year more National Patient Safety Goals, Sentinel Event alerts and more Do Not Use abbreviations. While the Joint Commission does have some very important safety goals and patient safety recomendations, To me its seems that it is an organization that turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to the obvious and focuses on the irrelevant.
For example, A few year back a Sentinel Event alert was issued abour MRI safety. Although MRI incidents may occur, the number is relatively low - However Patient care in hospital up and down the country continues to suffer due to short staffing or over-burdened nurses.
In every Sentinel Event alert or National Patient Safety Goal, workplace recomendations are issued by the Joint Comission - In nearly every instance, Better nurse staffing is recomended.
How come with each new Patient safety goal or Sentinel event alert - nursing paperwork/charting increases and time for actual patient care is diminished?
If the Joint Commision was serious about patient safety, NATIONWIDE NURSE TP PATIENT STAFFING RATIO'S would be implemented.
What is the hold up?
Part of Joint Commission's problem is that they have to keep inventing new standards, "problems" to solve, etc., as time goes on to continue to justify their existence (and their charging hospitals obscene amounts to be surveyed). Once all the hospitals are in compliance with all the sensible, reasonable standards, what is the reason to continue to pay big bucks for a Joint Commission survey q three years??? They have to keep coming up with new things to look for in hospitals, and they ran out of realistic, meaningful rules/standards a long time ago and are now heading into "la la land" territory.
I always thought, from my experiences with surveys as a staff nurse and advanced practice nurse, that Joint Commission was a joke. I was pleasantly surprised to find, when I took a position as a hospital surveyor for my state and CMS, that most of the state surveyors (in all the states) also consider Joint Commission to be a joke. My state licensing agency surveyed hospitals at no charge, and did much more thorough, meaningful surveys than Joint Commission did -- hospitals in my state used to tell us that they were always happy to see us show up (always unannounced, unlike JCAHO at the time!) because they knew that if they passed our survey (or corrected whatever we found deficient), they had nothing to worry about with Joint Commission, because we were much tougher on them than Joint Commission. They were v. impressed with how much more thorough and complete our surveys were, and that they weren't charged for them.
Part of what state surveyors (who are all also contract surveyors for CMS) do is go into hospitals (a limited number, selected randomly by CMS) after they've had their Joint Commission survey and do another complete survey (what is called a "validation" survey) -- the purpose of the validation survey is to doublecheck and see what Joint Commission missed and how well they're doing their job of enforcing the CMS rules/regulations (which they are supposed to be doing, in addition to enforcing their own standards/requirements). CMS is always unhappy with the job Joint Commission is doing, but not unhappy enough, so far, to sever their relationship with them. I wish they would -- Joint Commission is such a racket. They charge you a fortune for the "privilege" of being surveyed by them, they strong-arm the hospitals to buy all kinds of "We passed Joint Commission" banners, mugs, pens, etc., and they pressure hospitals to hire "consulting firms" run by former Joint Commission surveyors to help them get ready for Joint Commission surveys -- oy veh!!! I don't know why everyone puts up with this and why they're still in business.
Last edit by elkpark on Apr 28, '10