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Joint Commission Standards Fact Sheet

  • Joint Commission standards are the basis of an objective evaluation process and can help organizations measure, assess, and improve performance.
  • The standards focus on important care procedures and organization functions that are essential to providing safe, high-quality care for patients, individuals, or residents.

Joint Commission standards are developed with input from health care professionals, providers, subject matter experts, consumers, and government agencies. They are informed by scientific literature, expert consensus, professional guidelines, and law and regulation. New standards relate to patient safety or quality of care, have a positive impact on health outcomes, reflect applicable law and regulation, and can be accurately and readily evaluated.

The standards development process includes the following steps:

  • Emerging quality and safety issues suggesting the need for additional or modified requirements are identified through various methods. These often include reviews of scientific literature or discussions with The Joint Commission’s standing committees and advisory groups, accredited organizations, professional associations, consumer groups, government agencies, or others.
  • The Joint Commission prepares draft standards using regulatory updates, clinical practice guidelines, leading practices from literature and/or input from technical advisory panels, focus groups, experts, and other stakeholders.
  • When additional feedback is needed, the draft standards are distributed nationally for review and made available for comment on the Standards Field Review page of The Joint Commission website. The draft standards may also be sent directly to current Joint Commission customers for review.  
  • After any necessary revisions, standards are reviewed and approved by executive leadership.
  • The survey process is enhanced, as needed, to address the new or revised standards, and pilot testing of the survey process may be conducted.
  • Field staff are educated about how to assess compliance with the new standards.
  • The approved standards are published for use by the field.
  • Once a standard is in effect, ongoing feedback is sought for the purpose of continuous improvement.

Send any questions to the Standards Online Submission Form.

Standards Manuals

Each accredited and certified organization receives one complimentary manual delivered via E-dition® (the electronic manual). The E-dition is accessible on The Joint Commission Connect™ extranet site.

For more information about purchasing standards manuals, contact Customer Service at 877-223-6866.

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