The Joint Commission recently announced it will eliminate and consolidate a second tranche of standards, following the first major reduction announced late last year. The more than 200 eliminated and consolidated standards, effective Aug. 27, will streamline requirements and make them as efficient and impactful on patient safety and quality as possible.

The second phase of this project includes a focus on The Joint Commission’s other accreditation programs in addition to the Hospital Accreditation Program. The continued work on this initiative will further help health care organizations address the many challenges they face by eliminating requirements that do not add value to accreditation surveys so that organizations and surveyors can focus on strategies and structures that better support quality and safety.

Numbers by program

The second tranche of deleted and consolidated elements of performance (EPs)—the requirements that make up a standard—by program includes: 

  • Ambulatory Health Care: Of 206 in-scope EPs, 31 were deleted or consolidated into a similar EP (15% reduction)
  • Behavioral Health Care: Of 81 in-scope EPs, 20 were deleted or consolidated (25% reduction)
  • Critical Access Hospital: Of 150 in-scope EPs, 23 were deleted or consolidated (15% reduction)
  • Laboratory: Of 230 in-scope EPs, 64 were deleted or consolidated (28% reduction)
  • Nursing Care Center: Of 72 in-scope EPs, 19 were deleted or consolidated (26% reduction)
  • Office-Based Surgery: Of 246 in-scope EPs, 22 were deleted or consolidated (9% reduction)
  • Home Care: Of 159 in-scope EPs, 24 were deleted or consolidated (15% reduction)
  • Hospital: 7 EPs were deleted or consolidated; 4 were revised
Considered “in scope”

An EP was considered “in scope” for the review if it: 

  • Was not related to state or federal requirements.
  • Had been in effect for at least three years.
  • Had been scored five times or less during full triennial surveys between 2017 and 2019 (the three years prior to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency).
Positive feedback

“When we announced the first tranche of eliminated and revised standards in December 2022, hospital leadership and direct care providers alike were extremely supportive of the news that Joint Commission standards would be fewer but more meaningful,” said Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD, MSHA, MACP, FACMI, president and chief executive officer, The Joint Commission Enterprise. “After such positive feedback, we are pleased to extend additional relief to our accredited organizations outside the hospital setting—especially as this is where patients most frequently receive care.” 

The standards reduction is the result of The Joint Commission’s comprehensive review that was announced in September 2022. The Joint Commission reviewed all its “above-and-beyond” requirements—those that go beyond state or federal requirements.

Read more at The Joint Commission.