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Regulatory Agencies and Accrediting Bodies

Regulatory Agencies and Accrediting Bodies

Sample Answer 

Regulatory Agencies and Accrediting Bodies

Healthcare regulations and accreditations have been identified as significantly impacting the quality and safety of patient care. Regulations and accreditations are not the same things, but both are required to protect the public and promote high levels of care. Regulations are basic rules that must be followed, whereas accreditation is a seal of approval from an independent accrediting body that certifies that an organization or individual has met specific standards (Warburton & Sagin, 2009). “Accreditation has become increasingly popular as a means of promoting healthcare quality at the organizational and service levels” (Melo, 2016, para.2). The Joint Commission is a major accrediting body in the United States (TJC).

The Joint Commission is a government agency (TJC)

TJC is a non-profit organization based in Chicago, Illinois, that accredits and certifies over 19,000 organizations and programmes in the United States. TJC’s mission is to continuously improve healthcare by evaluating healthcare organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe, effective, and cost-effective care.


TJC, formerly known as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and, prior to that, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH), was founded in 1951 and is the nation’s oldest and largest healthcare standards-setting and accrediting body. TJC offers voluntary accreditation to a wide range of organizations, including hospitals, home health agencies, nursing homes, behavioural health care centres, ambulatory care providers, and laboratory services. An organization must undergo an on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three years to earn and maintain TJC accreditation (The Joint Commission, 2020).

Quality Indicator Public Reporting Process (QIs)

TJC is committed to providing the public with useful information about the performance of accredited organizations. TJC makes this information available to the public via the Quality Check website, which was launched in 1996. People can search for accredited organizations and view performance measure results and quality reports on this website. Joint Commission surveyors visit accredited healthcare organizations at least every three years or every two years for laboratories to assess compliance with TJC standards. Public reporting of quality indicators is critical because information about a healthcare organization’s quality and safety of care can help organizations improve their services and educate consumers and healthcare purchasers to make informed healthcare decisions (The Joint Commission, 2020).

Structure and Purpose

TJC Board members include physicians, nurses, administrators, employers, quality and innovation experts, and educators. Audit and Firewall Oversight, Executive, Finance, Governance, Human Resources and Executive Compensation, and Strategic Planning are the six standing board committees. TJC surveyors observe healthcare staff as they care for patients and interview patients about their care and experience. These highly trained surveyors also select random patients and evaluate the standards of practice using their medical records as a guide. Healthcare professionals, providers, subject matter experts, consumers, and government agencies contribute to the development of Joint Commission standards, which are then informed by scientific literature and expert consensus. New standards are only added if they pertain to patient safety or quality of care, meet or exceed applicable laws and regulations, have a positive impact on health outcomes, and can be accurately and easily measured (The Joint Commission, 2020). To earn and maintain The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval, an organization must undergo an on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three years. TJC currently evaluates and accredits over 22,000 healthcare organizations and programmes across the United States (The Joint Commission, 2020).

Health Care Organizations’ Impact on Quality at Different Levels of Care

TJC aims to inspire healthcare excellence while also assisting in the organization and strengthening of patient safety efforts. TJC standards are centred on cutting-edge performance improvement strategies that assist healthcare organizations in continuously improving the safety and quality of care, thereby lowering the risk of error (The Joint Commission, 2020).

Nursing Procedures

Nurses are employed by TJC as surveyors and reviewers in their accreditation and certification programmes. Nurses are also involved in the development of standards and other initiatives to improve safety. TJC has a Nursing Advisory Council that shares nursing perspectives and issues affecting nursing care, safety, and quality. TJC is deeply engaged in nursing-related issues such as workplace violence, infection prevention and control, suicide risk, and health equity (The Joint Commission, 2020).

Patient Support

Every TJC focus leads to overall patient care excellence. TJC establishes standards for healthcare organizations’ performance and ability to provide patients with safe, high-quality care. TJC hopes to have a positive effect on health outcomes (The Joint Commission, 2020).


Accrediting organizations and regulatory agencies protect communities across the country from a variety of healthcare risks. These organizations strive to improve the healthcare system as a whole and to ensure positive patient outcomes. The Joint Commission is a major accrediting organization in the United States. TJC have had an impact on not only healthcare organizations but also nursing practice and, ultimately, patient care. TJC is a powerful force in the patient safety movement, and it has a significant impact on the future of health care.


Melo, S. (2016). The impact of accreditation on healthcare quality improvement: A qualitative case study. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 30(8), 1242-1258.

The Joint Commission. (2020). Retrieved from

Warburton, R. N., & Sagin, T. (2009). Accreditation and Regulation: Can They Help Improve Patient Safety? Retrieved from regulation-can-they-help-improve-patient-safety


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Post a total of 3 substantive responses over 2 separate days for full participation. This includes your initial post and 2 replies to classmates or your faculty member.

Regulatory Agencies and Accrediting Bodies

Regulatory Agencies and Accrediting Bodies

Due Thursday

Respond to the following in a minimum of 175 words:

What are the key differences between regulation and accreditation?

Which accreditation standards and regulations are most commonly cited or used in your practice setting or one that you are most interested in working on?

Due Monday

Post 2 replies to classmates or your faculty member. Be constructive and professional.


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