to main content Health Care Equity | The Joint Commission

Our vision is that all people always experience safe, high-quality health care.

Today however, health care quality and health outcomes are often worse for racial/ethnic minorities, women, people living in rural communities, people with disabilities, those living in poverty, people with lower educational attainment, and other historically marginalized groups. And although health care equity is often viewed through a social justice lens, we understand it to be first and foremost a quality-of-care problem. Which means to achieve sustainable improvement we need to approach health care equity in the same way we approach other crucial patient safety priorities — by understanding the root causes and implementing targeted standards of care.

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State-of-the-art accreditation standards help you put patients at the heart of everything you do.

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Unmatched resources arm your team with tools and strategies to succeed.
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Underserved populations and communities rise to new levels because of your ongoing commitment to safe, equitable care.

  • ,,Every patient deserves the right to safe, equitable health care. All health care organizations have a responsibility to identify and address the disparities that their unique patient populations face.,,

    Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin, M.D. - President and CEO - The Joint Commission

Impact of Disparities in Health Care

Even today, economic, social, and other injustices continue to create barriers to accessing high-quality health care. These statistics tell a powerful story. Working side by side, we can write a new chapter.

Maternal mortality rate for Black women is 4x higher than that for non-Hispanic White women


Hispanic women are 20 percent more likely to die from cervical cancer than non-Hispanic White women


Asian Americans are eight times more likely to die from hepatitis B than non-Hispanic Whites


Diabetes rates are more than 30 percent higher among Native Americans and Latinos than among Whites

From accreditation standards that enable a strong foundation, to specialty programs that elevate your maturity and unique resources that enable your success — we’re here to support you each step of your journey.

Today, tens of thousands of health care providers across the nation count on Joint Commission accreditation to help them accelerate process standardization that leads to reduced variability and sustainable improvements in quality and safety for those they serve. Our accreditation standards include several long-standing requirements that address health care equity issues.

Effective January 1, 2023, new dedicated health care equity standards will become effective and integrated into our hospital, ambulatory and behavioral health care accreditation programs, these new standards are among the first of their kind and will help create a consistent national baseline related to the equitable delivery of health care.

New health care equity standards include changes to leadership requirements, records requirements when collecting patient race and ethnicity information, and rights and responsibilities requirements prohibiting discrimination.

Our new Health Care Equity Accreditation Standards & Resource Center includes innovative strategies leveraged by your peers as well as a growing list of useful industry resources right in one convenient place, directly aligned to the new standards requirements. No matter where you are in your health care equity journey, you’ll find resources that enable, empower, and inspire your team.

Access the Accreditation Standards & Resource Center

Joint Commission certifications align to your organization’s health care equity priorities and provide an unparalleled pathway to raise the bar for care delivery across the populations and communities you serve.

Health Care Equity Certification.  The Joint Commission is developing requirements for a new advanced certification program focused on improving health care equity. The advanced certification program requirements build upon the Joint Commission’s long-standing accreditation standards supporting health care equity and the recently released requirements to reduce health care disparities. This voluntary program will recognize hospitals that strive for excellence in their efforts to provide equitable care, treatment, and services.

Bernard J. Tyson

Health care organizations that prioritize the importance of health care equity and are working to raise the quality of health care among underserved populations and communities, deserve to be recognized. The Joint Commission teamed up with Kaiser Permanente to honor Bernard J. Tyson, Kaiser’s late chairman and chief executive officer, who worked hard to address disparities in the U.S. health care system. The two organizations established The Bernard J. Tyson National Award for Excellence in Pursuit of Healthcare Equity.