The Joint Commission is committed to making relevant and accurate information about its accredited and certified health care organizations available to interested parties. Information regarding a health care organization’s quality and safety of care can help organizations improve their services. This information may also help educate consumers and health care purchasers in making informed choices about health care. At the same time, it is important that confidentiality of certain information be maintained to encourage candor in the accreditation and certification process. The Joint Commission’s primary vehicles for providing public information are Quality Check® and Quality Reports. Note: This document provides an overview of The Joint Commission’s Public Information Policy; for specific information, see the entire policy.

Information that The Joint Commission Publicly Discloses on Request

  • Certain historical information about previously accredited or certified organizations (for seven years prior to the date of the request).
  • Confirmation of the particular occurrence of a sentinel event at an accredited organization (for three years prior to the date of the request).
  • Aggregate complaint information about alleged patient safety or quality of care issues within the scope of Joint Commission standards.
  • Some specific information about the status of The Joint Commission’s treatment of a complaint will be provided to the complainant (and those authorized by the complainant) or others who have knowledge regarding a specific complaint. Unless already known to the complainant, The Joint Commission will not disclose patient name or identifiable information, per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996.
  • Some accreditation-related and complaint information is available to accrediting bodies with which The Joint Commission has formal cooperative agreements.
  • Specific accreditation-related information may be released to federal, state, local or other governmental certification or licensing agencies, or public health agencies, or any other appropriate enforcement agency, or organizations with which The Joint Commission performs coordinated survey activities. The information is released under certain circumstances, such as when The Joint Commission identifies a serious situation in an organization that may jeopardize the health or safety of patients or the public, and immediately takes action to deny accreditation.

Information Kept Confidential by The Joint Commission

  • The Official Accreditation Decision Report*
  • Information learned from the organization before, during, or following the accreditation survey, which is used to determine compliance with specific accreditation standards.
  • An organization’s comprehensive systematic analysis and related documents prepared in response to a sentinel event or in response to other circumstances specified by The Joint Commission.
  • All other materials that may contribute to the accreditation decision.
  • Written staff analyses and Accreditation Committee minutes and agenda materials.
  • Any data from an organization’s participation in the IntraCycle Monitoring (ICM) process and related corrective action plan.
  • The identity of any individual who files a complaint about an accredited organization.* (If required by a government entity or cooperative organization and the confidentiality of the complainant cannot be assured, complainant-identifying information will be redacted.)

*Unless required or requested by a governmental entity, an organization with which The Joint Commission performs coordinated surveys, or an accreditation body with which The Joint Commission has a cooperative agreement or complaint-sharing agreement.

Note: When an organization disseminates inaccurate information regarding its accreditation, The Joint Commission reserves the right to clarify information, even if the information involved would otherwise be considered confidential.