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What Nurses Need to Know About JCAHO

Career News May 4, 2013

JCAHO is extremely pertinent to nursing. JCAHO was founded in 1951 and stands for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. This is a commission group that accredits health care organizations. The JCAHO reviews the quality of health services whenever new accreditation comes up.

This non-profit government organization has helped the medical industry by accrediting 20,000 health care organizations since the mid-twentieth century. This organization is seen by state officials as an authority figure when it comes to determining the competency of modern health care facilities. The JCAHO reviews and assesses the quality of these organizations and also operates as an accreditor for Medicaid recipient reimbursements.

The JCAHO, or Joint Commission for short, seeks to improve health care for the public and inspire workers in the field to excel in this truly valuable work.

The Role of Nurses

Nurses are involved in the process since they help with implementing changes that their employers require, in line with the JCAHO’s evaluation. There are some specific requirements that must be held and some conduct that must be maintained, if the organization is to remain accredited. Nurses must competently perform their duties, and even more when the evaluation period begins. Nurses are usually assessed by the JCAHO once in a three year period, though sometimes the time frame is even less.

The organization must evaluate its own nurses to determine their competency and skills. These projects might involve taking tests, demonstration of abilities, explanation of procedures, and even performing simulated tasks. Each nurse who is employed by a facility would have to demonstrate competency, similar to a person who administer the test. It is an ethical and competency “audit,” making sure there is some degree of standardization when it comes to nursing duties.

As long as you are educated, experienced, understand your job, and the jobs of others around you, passing these evaluations and earning an accredited title should not be a problem. If a nurse falls short of competency, the health care provider must take action, if it is to remain in good standing.

Why JCAHO Matters

JCAHO is an essential part of the medical industry as it helps with keeping standards at a minimum level of optimal care. This is extremely crucial, considering that there is no official federal standard in nursing (Legislation for standardized care is still being discussed). So, the efforts of JCAHO are much appreciated as they help health care facilities stay awake and conscious of their performance, using this sort of gentle peer pressure.

Nurses are truly on the front lines of medical care and are closely evaluated when a facility is reviewed. You, as a nursing student, should be aware of JCAHO, its policies and standards. This will help you keep your job, and make your organization look professional and outstanding. Most importantly, you will be doing your part in making sure patients are receiving the best care possible.

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