Resources from The Joint Commission
This page provides links to materials developed by The Joint Commission and Joint Commission Resources related to health care workforce safety and well-being.
The Joint Commission Statement on Health Care Worker Mental Health
In May of 2020, The Joint Commission released the following statement relating to health care workforce access to mental health treatment:
"The COVID-19 pandemic is placing unprecedented strains on the health care workforce. As a result, many health care workers feel that it would be helpful to talk to a mental health professional. However, clinicians have concerns that seeing a mental health professional could adversely affect their career if they are asked about a previous history of mental health issues during the credentialing or licensing process. The Joint Commission does not require organizations to ask about a clinician’s history of mental health conditions or treatment. We strongly encourage organizations to not ask about past history of mental health conditions or treatment. As an alternative, we support the recommendations of the Federation of State Medical Boards and the American Medical Association to limit inquiries to conditions that currently impair the clinicians’ ability to perform their job. It is critical that we ensure health care workers can feel free to access mental health resources. The Joint Commission supports the removal of any barriers that inhibit clinicians and health care staff from accessing mental health care services, including eliminating policies that reinforce stigma and fear about the professional consequences of seeking mental health treatment."
Quick Safety Topics Related to Safety and Well-Being
This podcast, from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (December 2022), features Haytham Kaafarani, MD, MPH, FACS, Chief Patient Safety Officer and Medical Director of Patient Safety at The Joint Commission. The podcast discusses the second victim syndrome and the importance of peer support.
This video was developed and recorded by a Joint Commission Physician-surveyor, Dr. Andrew J. McLean, MD, MPH. It discusses ways to develop resilience at both the individual, organizational, and community level to address burnout and moral injury.
Letters of Support and Comments on Federal Activities
- Letter to the Finance Committee on Mental Health, May 11, 2022
- The Joint Commission Requests an Extension of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
- Comments on the CDC and NIOSH Request for Information on Interventions to Prevent Work-Related Stress and Support Health Worker Mental Health
- Letter to Senate Finance Committee on Mental Health, November 15, 2021
- Joint Commission Reiterates Importance of Removing Barriers to Mental Health Care for Staff
- Letter of Support for the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act
- Joint Statement Supporting Clinician Health in the Post-COVID-19 Pandemic Era
- Comments on the HHS document, “RFI – Long-Term Monitoring of Health Care System Resilience”
Publications Related to Safety and Well-Being
- Leadership Behavior Associations with Domains of Safety Culture, Engagement, and Health Care Worker Well-Being (Mar 2023)
- Safety Culture and Workforce Well-Being Associations with Positive Leadership WalkRounds (July 2021)
- Frontline Hospital Workers and the Worker Safety/Patient Safety Nexus
- Improving Patient and Worker Safety: Opportunities for Synergy, Collaboration and Innovation