How to Get JCAHO Accredited

The Joint Commission Accreditation, formerly known as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), is among the organizations that contribute the most towards the set-up of addiction treatment facilities. JCAHO is a non-profit organization situated in the USA, and it accredits more than 20,000 healthcare organizations and programs.

Over the years, more treatment facilities keep coming up. If you would like your facility to operate under the best practices, therefore, you need the Joint Commission Accreditation. JCAHO uses internationally accepted quality standards. So, if you get this accreditation, your treatment facility or organization will stand out among most of its competitors.

With that said, here is the big question that haunts most people. How do you get JCAHO accredited? Well, all that will be covered in this post, including why this accreditation is so important.

What is Joint Commission Accreditation?

As we’ve mentioned, JCAHO is one of the top accreditors of addiction treatment facilities and programs. The organization aims to ensure that these facilities provide safe and high-quality healthcare services. JCAHO relies on evidence-based practices to accredit institutions and programs.

So, how exactly does the organization go about that? Well, the standards of quality are used to evaluate specific areas of your organization. The purpose? To establish the areas within your organization that need improvement.

How to Get JCAHO Accredited

Usually, the accreditation standards are derived from JCAHO’s Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Behavioral Healthcare or CAMBHC. They are developed by consulting with behavioral healthcare experts, the providers, clients, and their families.

That means that before your institution gets accredited, a surveyor from the Joint Commission must come on-site. Typically, the surveyor will assess your facility for 2 to 4 days. During this period, the surveyor will inspect the various services and programs that your facility offers. Moreover, he or she assesses the safety measures and conducts interviews with both your clients and staff.

The surveyors themselves are behavioral healthcare experts. Therefore, they are qualified to carry out these assessments. Moreover, each surveyor is trained and capable of conducting between 12 and 15 surveys annually. Additionally, they implement the best practices, which they make sure to share with your organization.

That said, does the accreditation happen instantly? No, it doesn’t. On the contrary, it is usually an intensive process that occurs over three years. So, what does this mean for your organization? It means that you have to invest a significant amount of time and resources to get the accreditation. Moreover, you have to make sure that you comply with the requests made.

Fortunately, after everything is completed and your treatment facility and programs are accredited, you’ll rank high among other organizations.

Cost of the Joint Commission Accreditation 

If you want your organization or healthcare program to get accreditation from the Joint Commission, then you’ll have to cover the cost affiliated with the entire process. For instance, you have to pay the certification fee as well as underlying costs. Some of the associated costs you need to pay include the Joint Commission staff’s travel expenses, which come to inspect your facility and programs.

Steps Followed To Obtain the Joint Commission Accreditation

As we’ve mentioned above, accreditation is a long process. Consequently, you have to follow some steps to make the process smooth. We have discussed some of them here.

  1. Understand the process

    Before your institution or healthcare programs get accredited, the surveyors will spend a lot of time there. Therefore, you must understand how this process works. To do so, you need to source your information online, particularly from the Joint Commission Site. The website provides you with comprehensive information about all you need to know.

    Better yet, you can contact help and get answers to any questions that might be bugging you. If that sounds inconveniencing, you can even listen to recorded webinars or register for a free one. It’s that easy.

  2. Review the requirements

    Next up, you need to review the requirements for getting JCAHO accredited. You can find the information you need from an accreditation manual online. However, you have to pay for it. Alternatively, you can request to access the Joint Commission electronic edition that has a 60-day free trial. There’s also another more straightforward solution, which involves asking JCAHO’s representatives to tell you what’s required of you.

  3. Do a self-assessment

    After you’ve known what’s required of you, you should evaluate your facility or programs to see if they meet the standard policies. If not, you need to know the procedures that you should follow to make improvements. If you have queries, however, you can contact the Joint Commission’s help desk at 630-792-5900.

  4. Carry out the action plans

    Now that you know the improvements you need to make, it’s recommended for you to implement the action plans. Come up with a timeline, which you should follow to the letter to meet the Joint Commission quality standards.

  5. Apply to get accredited

    After implementing your action plan, you should now be ready for your facility or program to undergo inspection. This is the best time for you to apply for accreditation, and there are several ways to do that. For instance, you can call the help desk at 630-792-5771. Alternatively, you can send an email to [email protected]. Lastly, you can submit a request for information here.

    When your request gets processed, you will get an email with log-in info to the JCAHO’s Connect site. There, you’ll find your application where you’re expected to provide information pertinent to your organization or healthcare program. Besides that, you’re supposed to fill in when you’d like the survey to happen. You can choose the survey to occur up to 12 months from the time you apply.

    After you complete the online application, you’re required to make a $1,700 deposit. If you choose not to pay the deposit when submitting your application, there’s a high likelihood that your on-site survey will delay. Keep in mind that there’s an on-site service fee in addition to annual fees that are spread out over the three years.

  6. Prep for the on-site survey

    So, you’ve completed everything online. Now, it’s time for the on-site survey. For this, you will find plenty of resources on the Joint Commission’s site that will help you prepare for your survey. Usually, the organization will assign you a Behavioral Health Care Account Executive who’ll serve as your primary contact.

    The executive will provide you with all the information you need before the survey and even help you to plan for it. That notwithstanding, you’ll have at least 30 days’ notice before the on-site survey.

  7. Survey day

    On your official survey day, the surveyor you’ve been assigned will come to your facility to conduct the necessary assessment. But that’s not all the surveyors do. They also offer suggestions before coming up with a preliminary report. Later on, you’ll receive a detailed report indicating the areas that comply and highlight those that require improvement.

    It is imperative to note that JCAHO has an Early Survey Policy, too, where you can spread the on-site survey into two visits. This policy comes in handy when your organization needs more time to comply with the Joint Commission quality standards. Moreover, they might provide better insight, especially to new organizations.

  8. Complete any recommended improvements

    If the surveyor suggests you make improvements in your organization or program, take action to meet them. You must also make sure to report to the executive you were assigned. In most cases, you’ll get up to 45 days to carry out the recommended improvements.

  9. Share the new status you’ve obtained.

    Once you make the improvements, the Joint Commission will give you accreditation. You must make sure to share your new status. Reason being? You want both prospective clients and referral services to know about your program or facility. You also want your liability coverage provider to become aware of the accreditation. Besides sharing your new status publicly, the Joint Commission has a public kitty where you can display your accreditation.

  10. Stay in compliance

    When all has been completed, and you’ve got your accreditation, you don’t need to do any less. Make sure to stay in compliance. Besides, another survey will be conducted after three years. Always remember, being accredited is meant to rank your organization as a world-class healthcare and treatment provider. Make sure it stays that way.

Published on: 2020-11-05
Updated on: 2020-11-05


Author: Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is an SEO Director, Full Stack Developer, and InfoSec enthusiast. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Western Sydney before joining various marketing positions in search portals, higher education, and addiction recovery marketing agencies.