Integrating Healthcare Standards and Performance Measurement
Richard G. Koss
Linda S. Hanold
Jerod M. Loeb
Over the past 50 years the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has relied primarily on an assessment of standards compliance to make judgments about the capability of a healthcare organization to provide good quality care. Over the last decade, the focus has shifted from paying exclusive attention to capabilities and routine processes of care, to an assessment of the actual results of care by monitoring and measuring clinical outcomes. This transition requires exploration and understanding of the complex inter-relationships between healthcare standards and performance measures. Adding performance measurement to a standards-based assessment means that the JCAHO can implement a more continuous accreditation process. Continuous accreditation allows an organization to regularly evaluate and improve its processes to maintain performance that constantly meets or exceeds expectations. Establishing a valid, complementary relationship between healthcare standards and performance measures is a complex and challenging undertaking, and fertile ground for extensive research. Success will result in a more complete, thorough and continuous assessment of the care provided by healthcare organizations.
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