Competition for Joint Commission-Finally!
For years the Joint Commission has been the accreditor of hospitals including all its departments (including laboratories). Although many are not aware of it, even hospital laboratories accredited by CAP (College of American Pathologists) are also reviewed when their hospital is accredited. To many the review is transparent because Joint Commission has chosen to accept CAP accreditation of the lab; rather than conduct its own accreditation all over again. But it could if it chose to!
Joint Commission has gone through various iterations and has been know as the JCAOH (hospitals) then JCAHO (healthcare organizations), Jayco and now simply "Joint Commission." The Joint (as it is also known) has had a love-hate relationship with hospitals as it has changed its focus from education to inspection and back again several times over. Hospitals have often viewed their relationship with Joint Commission as "paying to get beaten up."
Now finally, there is a new game in town. A new company called DNV Healthcare Inc. is the first new accreditation agency in over 40 years. DNV (Det Norske Veritas) integrates ISO 9001 quality standards with Medicare's Conditions of Participation, so hospitals choosing DNV accreditation will continue a seamless relationship with Medicare.
DNV will conduct annual visits and touts a collaborative, nonadverserial relationship with hospital customers. They concentrate on outcomes over processes and encourage a variety of approaches as well as adoption of best practices.
It will be interesting to see how much market share DNV captures and -more importantly- whether they gain and maintain maintain popularity and longevity.