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JCAHO Publishes Accreditation Results on Web

Kate Traynor

Consumers and health care professionals can now use the Internet to see how home care and other health service providers measure up to the standards of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

JCAHO launched its Quality Check evaluation program this month as part of what the organization describes as a "series of public accountability initiatives." Anyone with access to the Web can use Quality Check to look up the current accreditation status of any organization surveyed by JCAHO.

The Quality Check program allows the public to search for accreditation results by organization type, state, name, location, and accreditation status. JCAHO also posts the dates of scheduled surveys two months in advance and notes which organizations had survey visits in the past two months.

Quality Check identifies the performance areas examined during a survey and tells how the program scored in each area. Also available is a graph detailing how the surveyed organization fared in relation to similar groups in the country.

The online reports provided by Quality Check do not replace JCAHO’s traditional written performance reports, which can still be obtained from the accrediting organization.

Detailed performance results of surveys conducted before 2000 are now available through Quality Check. Performance results for over 300 organizations surveyed this year are also shown. A JCAHO spokesperson estimated that another 750 performance results from surveys conducted in 2000 will be posted in the next month.

JCAHO’s accreditation decision reports, which are confidential, will continue to be released only to the surveyed organization and not the general public.

Over 6,500 home care organizations have accreditation from JCAHO, which also accredits long-term care, ambulatory care, and behavioral care organizations as well as health care networks, hospitals, and laboratory programs. This spring, JCAHO launched a program for accrediting assisted living facilities, but survey results for this health care area are not yet available online.