The application for behavioral health accreditation with The Joint Commission (TJC) is very much a living document. You are asked to fill out the application prior to your initial survey and review it with your account representative prior to your ready date being entered into their scheduling system. The Joint Commission also requires that you update the application on an annual basis with any changes that may take place at your organization.
Believe it or not, we have been contacted by organizations that are not hospitals who have called us and asked them to prepare for their hospital survey. After asking some questions and understanding the services offered by the programs, it becomes clear that the agencies were inappropriately scheduled for a hospital survey instead of a behavioral health survey. This occurs even after organizations fill out the application and review them with their account executives! When working with organizations to achieve accreditation, we like to be involved from the very beginning when at all possible. This allows us to avoid being surveyed under a standards manual that is not applicable to the organization attempting to become accredited.
The Joint Commission application for accreditation is in fact a living document. This isn't the type of form that lands on someones desk, gets scanned into a computer, and a survey is scheduled. Surveyors come to survey your program with the application in-hand and as they are conducting your survey, and will reference it regularly to ensure they are surveying all of the services you identified that you provide in the application. Any changes to your program such as new leadership, services or sites where services are offered also need to be added to the application in a timely manner, otherwise you may risk keeping your accreditation.
When we contract with behavioral health programs we like to be involved from the very beginning. This allows us to work with agency leadership to make sure that all documentation is filled out properly, that the right staff are being notified when The Joint Commission sends out notices, and so potential mistakes can be avoided.
If your organization needs assistance with your Joint Commission application, or in achieving accreditation through The Joint Commission, click the link below to contact us through our web submission form on the Contact Us page, or call us anytime at (866) 444-7272.