to main content Process for Ambulatory Care Accreditation | The Joint Commission

Process Steps

Curious what your path to ambulatory health care accreditation looks like? Here are some steps to guide you through the accreditation process with confidence.
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Explore Your Options With Us

To get started, contact our team to discuss which program and survey options are the best fit for your needs, including:

  • Deemed Status Survey options for Medicare certification.
  • Certification reviews for Primary Care Medical Home, Advanced Total Hip and Knee Replacement, and Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery.
  • Special survey options for multi-site care providers.
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Review the Requirements

Request free 90-day access to our online standards manual (E-dition®).

  • First select the appropriate setting type, so you can view standards that are relevant to the patient care you provide.
  • Review the written document checklists.
  • Identify your focus areas for preparation and potential target survey month.
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Assess Your Readiness

When reviewing the standards, make a list to determine:

  • Requirements that are applicable.
  • Areas of compliance and non-compliance.
  • If and where policies/procedures might need to be changed.

If you need any help interpreting the standards or what to do to meet them, you can browse frequently asked questions about the standards and get further help from our Standards Interpretation Group.

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Submit Your Accreditation and Deposit

Contact our business development team to start the application process:

  • Our team will set up a secure account page for your organization on The Joint Commission’s extranet site.
  • Access the extranet site with your login name and password to complete your application.
  • Indicate your preferred survey month, which can be up to 12 months from the time you apply.
  • Submit your application when complete and pay the $1,700 deposit to begin the scheduling process.

Upon submitting an application, you will be assigned a dedicated point-of-contact to assist you with the application and everything after. Find your Account Executive on your extranet site.

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Review and Address Any Identified Gap Areas

Establish a timeline to implement any changes needed to comply with all the standards by the time of your on-site accreditation survey.
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Access Resources and Prepare for Your On-Site Survey

Download the Survey Activity Guide, which provides all the details of the surveyor(s) onsite agenda and access additional resources that will help you prepare for accreditation.

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Participate in Your Joint Commission Survey

Meet your Joint Commission surveyor(s) and undergo the comprehensive on-site review. A preliminary, written accreditation report will be made available to you at the end of the survey.

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Complete Any Post-Survey Follow Up Activities

If further changes are requested:

  • Resolve the issues via the Evidence of Standards Process Compliance (ESC) process.
  • Report back to your Account Executive within the requested time period, usually about 60 days.
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Celebrate/Publicize Your Accomplishment

When you’ve attained The Gold Seal of Approval® — let the world know! Explore our publicity kit for tips and artwork to use. As an accredited facility your organization will be listed on our Find Accredited Organizations webpage.

Don’t forget to report your new status to your liability insurer to see if you qualify for reduced rates.

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Maintain Survey Readiness

Take advantage of many resources to maintain your compliance with Joint Commission requirements.

  • Use the Focused Standards Assessment process to continuously improve your organization’s performance in the years between surveys.
  • Notify your Account Executive of any major changes in your organization.
  • Check your extranet site periodically for any updates to Joint Commission standards or processes.

Understand Your Survey

The Joint Commission’s accreditation survey helps organizations improve the safety and quality of care and services. The process begins with an on-site survey that assesses compliance with Joint Commission standards.

Joint Commission surveyors are specially trained professionals with experience in the ambulatory health care industry who understand the day-to-day issues that confront providers and have the hands-on expertise to help organizations resolve them.

On-site surveys involve:

  • Tracing the patient’s experience, which involves observing services provided by various caregivers and programs within the organization, as well as hand-offs between them
  • On-site observations and interviews
  • Assessment of the physical facility
  • Review of documents provided by the organization

Your accreditation experience is supported by experts who will help you before, during and after your survey. Listen to a quick video by Joint Commission staff to learn the key takeaways in going through your first Joint Commission ambulatory health care survey.

Ready to Move On?

Understand the Process

You're familiar with the accreditation and survey process.

Next Step

Get accreditation pricing information for your ambulatory health care organization.