The Joint Commission Eliminates More Than 200 Standards


The Joint Commission Eliminates More Than 200 Standards

The Joint Commission will eliminate and consolidate a second tranche of standards, following the first major reduction announced late last year. The more than 200 eliminated and consolidated standards, effective August 27, 2023, include ambulatory standards, according to a release. The eliminations will streamline requirements and make them as efficient and impactful on patient safety and quality as possible.

The second phase of this project will focus on all of The Joint Commission’s accreditation programs, including the Hospital Accreditation Program. The continued work on this initiative will further help healthcare organizations address the many challenges they face by eliminating requirements that do not add value to accreditation surveys, so that organizations and surveyors can focus on strategies and structures that better support quality and safety, according to the release.

The second tranche of deleted and consolidated elements of performance (EPs)—the requirements that make up a standard—by program includes:

  • Ambulatory Health Care: Of 206 in-scope EPs, 31 were deleted or consolidated into a similar EP (15 percent reduction)
  • Behavioral Health Care: Of 81 in-scope EPs, 20 were deleted or consolidated (25 percent reduction)
  • Critical Access Hospital: Of 150 in-scope EPs, 23 were deleted or consolidated (15 percent reduction)
  • Laboratory: Of 230 in-scope EPs, 64 were deleted or consolidated (28 percent reduction)
  • Nursing Care Center: Of 72 in-scope EPs, 19 were deleted or consolidated (26 percent reduction)
  • Office-Based Surgery: Of 246 in-scope EPs, 22 were deleted or consolidated (9 percent reduction)
  • Home Care: Of 159 in-scope EPs, 24 were deleted or consolidated (15 percent reduction)
  • Hospital: 7 EPs were deleted or consolidated; 4 were revised

An EP was considered “in scope” for the review if it

  • was not related to state or federal requirements,
  • had been in effect for at least three years, and
  • had been scored five times or less during full triennial surveys between 2017 and 2019 (the three years prior to the COVID-19 public health emergency).

“When we announced the first tranche of eliminated and revised standards in December 2022, hospital leadership and direct care providers alike were extremely supportive of the news that Joint Commission standards would be fewer but more meaningful,” said Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, president and chief executive officer of The Joint Commission Enterprise, in the release. “After such positive feedback, we are pleased to extend additional relief to our accredited organizations outside the hospital setting—especially as this is where patients most frequently receive care.”

The standards reduction is the result of The Joint Commission’s comprehensive review that was announced in September 2022. The Joint Commission reviewed all of its “above-and-beyond” requirements, the ones that go beyond state or federal requirements.

The full list of deleted and consolidated standards is available on The Joint Commission website.