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Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations / JCAHO

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Overview

The Joint Commission (TJC), formerly known as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) is an independent, not-for-profit organization.  TJC is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Since 1951, the Joint Commission has maintained state-of-the-art standards that focus on improving the quality and safety of care provided by health care organizations. The Joint Commission’s comprehensive accreditation process evaluates an organization’s compliance with these standards and other accreditation requirements.

Mission:

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.

The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 17,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including:

  • General, psychiatric, children’s and rehabilitation hospitals
  • Critical access hospitals
  • Home care organizations, including medical equipment services, hospice services
  • Nursing homes and other long term care facilities
  • Behavioral health care organizations, addiction services
  • Ambulatory care providers, including group practices, office-based surgery practices
  • Independent or freestanding clinical laboratories
  • Disease-specific care and chronic care services
  • Health care staffing services

Accreditation and certification benefit the public by providing an external review of the quality and safety of care being provided. Additionally, the public benefits by knowing that the organization has met high standards for quality and safety, and that it strives to continuously improve its performance. Health care organizations enjoy many benefits from achieving Joint Commission accreditation or certification. In addition to the value that an outside evaluation of the organization’s quality and safety of care provides, Joint Commission accreditation and certification also lead to improved patient care and provide the organization with a competitive edge in the marketplace.

The Joint Commission is governed by a 29-member Board of Commissioners that includes nurses, physicians, consumers, medical directors, administrators, providers, employers, a labor representative, health plan leaders, quality experts, ethicists, a health insurance administrator and educators. The Board of Commissioners brings to the Joint Commission countless years of diverse experience in health care, business and public policy

The Joint Commission relies on a variety of advisory groups in its continuous effort to improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public. These groups provide feedback to help the Joint Commission develop and revise standards, policies and procedures that support performance improvement in health care organizations. Members of the Joint Commission's Board of Commissioners, who provide policy leadership and oversight, also serve as liaisons to some of the advisory groups.

The Professional and Technical Advisory Groups (PTACs) were created to advise each accreditation program on proposed standard and survey procedure changes. Members of the six PTACs include professionals from each respective field who represent national organizations as well as advocates. Each PTAC is composed primarily of individuals nominated by selected professional organizations. The majority of the PTACs have public or consumer group representation. 

ADA role as Corporate Member

The ADA became a Corporate Member in 1979, joining the American College of Physicians, American College of Surgeons, American Hospital Association and American Medical Association. As a Corporate Member of TJC, the ADA appoints one Commissioner to TJC Board of Commissioners, TJC’s governing body. Dr. David Perrott currently serves as the ADA’s Commissioner to TJC Board of Commissioners.

The ADA appoints representatives to five of the PTACs for two year terms and a representative to the Physician Engagement Advisory Group (PEAG.)

Dr. Sheila Strock, Senior Manager of Interprofessional Relations, CAPIR, attends TJC Board meetings, Board Committee meetings and other TJC advisory groups, to represent oral health and the views of the ADA.  In addition appointees attend their respective meetings and report to the ADA.

For further information or to ask any questions about the Joint Commission, e-mail strocks@ada.org

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Additional Resources

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