Government agency is an agent of authority created and given the mandate to deal with specific issues that affects the citizens of a state or of an organization or even people working in a particular industry. Usually, they are established by the constitution. The agencies have a laid down constitution, which they use in the execution of powers of an organization. They can be said to be part of the executive arm of the government. Their duties are prescribed by the laws that founded it.
In this context, I will critically analyze the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health care Organizations (JACAHO), also referred to as the Joint commission. The TJC accredits over nineteen thousand health care organizations in the United States bearing a key role in the inspection and licensure. The joint commission (TJC) that is a non-profit based organization mandated by the government of the United States to monitor the activities of healthcare industry. In this paper in-depth information about the relationship of the TJC and the health care industry will be analyzed.
JACAHO is a non-profit organization based in the United States of America. It has over the years been recognized as a condition for inspection, licensing and the receipt for reimbursement of medical aids in the United States. The main mission of the organization is to endlessly improve the health care of public in unison with viable stakeholders by evaluating the health care organizations and motivating them to surpass in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, 1997).
The organization was renamed JACAHO from the former Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals in the year 1987. This change of name was part of the effort to simplify the name for ease of remembering. In the year 2007, the name was changed again to The Joint Commission. The logo and the label were also changed to “Helping Health Care Organizations Help Patients”. The Joint Commission International is an affiliate of the Joint Commission and it has achieved various international accreditations by extending the core mission of the TJC. The TJC headquarters are based in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations1993).
The joint commission has a very broad scope review incorporating home care agencies, nursing homes, hospitals, medical equipment providers, rehabilitation facilities, surgical centers, medical laboratories and so on. TJC is mainly involved with the accreditations of these organizations in the health industry through formalized surveys that are bench marked by an accreditation rate of over 90%. The joint commission is also involved in the Patient Safety Goals (PSG) to promote specific improvements in patient safety with the goal of highlighting areas of health concern and finding a solution to the problems identified. Some of the key issues of concern include reducing hospital infections, reduction on the pressure of ulcers, proper patient identification, and improvement of the hospital staff communication, avoidance of acronyms and symbols that lead to misinterpretation and the prevention of falls.
Another key focus of TJC since 1996 has been identification of sentinel events and trying to study the main cause of the events (Joint Commission, 2007). These are classified as an unexpected occurrence involving serious physical or psychological injury/risk or result to death. Any health care facility that is experiencing the sentinel issue is expected to do an intensive root cause analysis to make adjustments to the underlying processes, and check on the effectiveness of the planned changes. Though in numerous occasions the sentinel events are as a result of human error, a change in the system of the industry or organization is most likely to reduce human errors in the future thus protecting patients from threats in the instance of occurrence of human error. Annual publications by the joint commission have adequately shown its success in the reduction of sentinel event and risks such as wrong site surgery, medication errors and the abduction of patients.
Since early 2003, The Joint Commission took the stand to strengthen its operations and effectiveness in the health industry. Following this stand, the responsibilities on the commission were stipulated in different levels. The primary responsibility has been to establish a warm and conducive working environment within the health care structures. This was possible through the out write of rules that were to govern a peaceful working atmosphere mainly within the hospitals.
In addition, the joint commission bares the daily responsibilities of an effort to educate hospital staffs at an organizational level and emphasis on the importance of regular monitoring of compliance with the standard set policies for effective services and with the aim of reducing sentinel events due to human errors.
It is also the responsibility of the TJC to ensure health care industries are working within the set government regulations in the context of valid licenses and ethical hospital regulation, especially in matters pertaining to workers-patients relationships. Each health professional is supposed to work within his/her abilities based on qualifications.
The joint commission is also mandated to prevent improper exchange of facility-specific information. It checks that communication within the health care industry is disseminated following the right protocol and that the flow of information follows the correct channels within the organization and between organizations. Only specific information should be shared by different organization within the health industry and this information should have consent from both organizations. It’s therefore a responsibility of the TJC to check both the communication channels and the flow of information to prevent conflicts.
Initiatives mandated by the joint commission such as the management of pain in hospitalized patients brought about a number of changes in the pre-operative services in hospitals with recommendations of appropriate use of standard anesthesia to ease patients from pain. Recently, there has been a noted improvement in most of the hospitals under The Joint Commission. Other initiatives of the joint commission that have had a noted effect in the health care industry include the treatment of nausea and vomiting and care in gynecological, urology and neurosurgical surgeries.
The continued campaign by The Joint Commission to bring together the accredited health care organizations have generated an avenue for referrals that have improved the overall performance in the health care industry in the aim of improving the general health of the people.
The education, regular seminars to staffs and even monitoring of the healthcare industry by the agents of The Joint Commission have also had a positive effect on the health care industry through improvement of quality of operations.
In conclusion, TJC plays an important duty in ensuring a proper health care system. It has been providing health care facilities through conducting survey, ensuring standards and proving consulting services and thus, improving the safety and quality of care. Therefore, all health care professionals should recognize TJC as a tool, which delivers better health care and follow its directives.