Executive Briefing: TJC to Trim Requirements Starting January 1, 2023

By A.J. Plunkett

There will be fewer requirements for accreditation from The Joint Commission (TJC) in the near future.

The commission is conducting what new TJC president and CEO Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD, MSHA, MACP, FACMI, says is a “mega review of standards” to look at “each and every requirement to determine that they meaningfully and effectively address quality and safety issues that are ongoing, that they aren’t redundant.”

Perlin told the audience gathered for TJC’s annual Executive Briefing, held September 13, that the accreditor recognizes how hard the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies have been on hospitals in the last few years, leading to increased burnout and depleted resources across the country.

TJC will be looking for requirements that are now obsolete or unnecessary, he said, and will “eliminate standards and elements performance that don’t add commensurate value,” noting “that’s where the cost is, that’s where the burnout is.”

He was quick to note that any requirement in the CMS Conditions of Participation will naturally remain in place, as will standards or elements of performance that are tied to OSHA regulations or NFPA codes and standards.

“So why are we doing this?” he asked. He noted the shortage of healthcare workers, the huge financial losses incurred by hospitals and other healthcare organizations during the pandemic, and the other unprecedented challenges the industry faces.

“We think we can do better,” he said. And the accreditor is wasting no time.

TJC has already gathered a panel of experts to review the standards and plans to implement the first set of changes as of January 1, 2023 and will continue to announce identified changes every six months until the review is complete, he said.

Perlin has been president and CEO since March 1, after a career in both government and private sector healthcare organizations. He most recently served as the president and clinical operations and chief medical officer at HCA Healthcare, based in Nashville, Tennessee.

A.J. Plunkett is editor of Inside Accreditation & Quality, an HCPro publication.