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JCAHO Standards Not Always Supported by High-Quality Evidence

Of 20 actionable standards from The Joint Commission, six completely supported by references, six partly supported

WEDNESDAY, June 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Only six of 20 actionable standards for hospital accreditation published by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (The Joint Commission) were completely supported by cited references, according to a study published online June 23 in The BMJ.

Sarah A. Ibrahim, from Rush Medical College in Chicago, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study to examine the evidence upon which standards for hospital accreditation by The Joint Commission are based. The associated standard and its specific elements of performance were extracted from four Joint Commission R3 (requirement, rationale, and reference) reports released by July 2018.

The researchers identified 20 actionable standards with 76 distinct components, which were accompanied by 48 references. Six of the 20 actionable standards were completely supported by cited references, six were partly supported, and eight were not supported (30, 30, and 40 percent, respectively). Of the six directly supported actionable standards, one, none, and five cited at least one reference of level 1 or 2, level 3, and level 4 or 5 evidence, respectively. The strength of recommendation was deemed GRADE D and GRADE B in five and one of the completely supported actionable standards, respectively.

“Recent actionable standards issued by The Joint Commission are not supported by high quality data referenced within the issuing documents,” the authors write. “The Joint Commission might consider being more transparent about the quality of evidence and underlying rationale supporting each of its recommendations.”

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