About Our Standards
Joint Commission standards are the basis of an objective evaluation process that can help health care organizations measure, assess, and improve performance. The standards focus on important patient, individual, or resident care and organization functions that are essential to providing safe, high quality care. The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards set expectations for organization performance that are reasonable, achievable, and survey-able.
Standards Development Process
Joint Commission standards are developed with input from health care professionals, providers, subject matter experts, consumers, and government agencies (including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). They are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus and reviewed by the Board of Commissioners. New standards are added only if they relate to patient safety or quality of care, have a positive impact on health outcomes, meet or surpass law and regulation, and can be accurately and readily measured. The standards development process includes the following steps:
- Emerging quality and safety issues suggesting the need for additional or modified requirements are identified through the scientific literature or discussions with the Joint Commission’s standing committees and advisory groups, accredited organizations, professional associations, consumer groups or others.
- The Joint Commission prepares draft standards using input from technical advisory panels, focus groups, experts, and other stakeholders.
- The draft standards are distributed nationally for review and made available for comment on the Standards Field Review page of the Joint Commission website.
- After any necessary revisions, standards are reviewed and approved by executive leadership.
- The survey process is enhanced, as needed, to address the new standards requirements, and pilot testing of the survey process is conducted.
- Surveyors 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.
Standards are only available on this website when they are in Field Review or Prepublication status. The accreditation and certification standards manuals are available in print and electronic formats and can be purchased from Joint Commission Resources®.
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.
- About Our Standards
- Standards Field Reviews
National Patient Safety Goals
- National Patient Safety Goals
- Ambulatory Health Care: 2023 National Patient Safety Goals
- Assisted Living Community: 2023 National Patient Safety Goals
- Behavioral Health Care and Human Services: 2023 National Patient Safety Goals
- Critical Access Hospital: 2023 National Patient Safety Goals
- Home Care: 2023 National Patient Safety Goals
- Hospital: 2023 National Patient Safety Goals
- Laboratory Services: 2023 National Patient Safety Goals
- Nursing Care Center: 2023 National Patient Safety Goals
- Office-Based Surgery: 2023 National Patient Safety Goals
- Prepublication Standards
- Revisions Related to CMS Final Rules
- The Term Licensed Independent Practitioner Eliminated for AHC and OBS
- New Requirements for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics
- Revision to MS.06.01.05, EP 7
- The Term Licensed Independent Practitioner Eliminated
- Updates to the Patient Blood Management Certification Program Requirements
- New Assisted Living Community Accreditation Memory Care Certification Option
- Revisions to PI.01.01.01, EP 4
- Health Care Equity Standard Elevated to National Patient Safety Goal
- New and Revised Emergency Management Standards
- New Health Care Equity Certification Program
- Updates to the Advanced Disease-Specific Care Certification for Inpatient Diabetes Care
- Updates to the Assisted Living Community Accreditation Requirements
- Updates to the Comprehensive Cardiac Center Certification Program
- R3 Report
- Standards FAQs
- Universal Protocol
- Patient Safety Systems PS Chapter