The Joint Commission, founded in 1951, accredits several different types of healthcare organizations including hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, office-based surgery centers, behavioral health treatment facilities and providers of home care services with a total of over 22,000. Their mission is to: “To continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.” They provide specific “best-practice” standards from infection control and medication management through intervention documentation and outcomes testing (an example); their “Gold Seal” accreditation to deserving Behavioral Care facilities covers the facility for a three year period.
The Joint Commission publishes information about its members to any inquiring parent, with the Quality Check website (www.qualitycheck.org). Caveat: the measures are reported on one specific aspect of care. The care patients receive at any facility or program depends on many different factors. The Quality Report is one tool to assist individuals in selecting health care services. Individuals should discuss the Quality Report and its contents with their health care providers to make informed choices.