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Joint Commission International Accreditation Standards for Primary Care, 2nd Edition.

Added on 20 November 2017 in General News, 6th Edition Communication Center

Joint Commission International is pleased to announce the future publication on 1 January 2018 of the Joint Commission International Accreditation Standards for Primary Care, 2nd Edition. 

Primary care is defined by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on the Future of Primary Care as “… the provision of integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community.” Services provided in primary care are described by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) as “… practices [that] provide health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses in a variety of health care settings.”

Joint Commission International (JCI) standards define the performance expectations, structures, and functions that must be in place for a primary care center to be accredited by JCI. In the 2nd Edition, there are three main sections of standards: 1) Community Involvement and Integration, 2) Patient-Centered Services, and 3) Health Care Organization Management. Within each section, standards are separated into chapters, which is new to this edition. The chapter titles are the same as those used in other standards manuals, as JCI is aligning names of its standards chapters across programs for easier identification of similar requirements. Each standard includes an intent statement, which describes the rationale for the standard, and measurable elements, which are the specific requirements of the standard. 

In addition to the standards, an introduction, the eligibility requirements, a summary of key accreditation policies, a glossary, and an index are included. 

Areas of Focus in New Requirements

In the 2nd edition, all International Patient Safety Goals (IPSGs) were updated as appropriate to primary care. Other requirement changes include the addition of several new standards, as well as a few new requirements added to existing standards from the previous edition. The areas of focus include the following:

  • Program for chronic disease management
  • Point-of-care testing oversight and staff training
  • Radiation safety program
  • Resuscitation services
  • Antibiotic stewardship
  • Response to presentation of potential global communicable diseases 
  • Supply chain management
  • Culture of safety program
  • Water quality monitoring
  • Staff health and safety program
  • Appropriate use of copy-and-paste and auto-complete when electronic medical records are used
  • Confidentiality and security of patient information sent via electronic communication
  • Program for response to planned and unplanned downtime of data systems

Key Features

The following features are new to the 2nd edition Primary Care Standards:

  • A new section, Accreditation Participation Requirements (APR), which describes the specific requirements for participating in the JCI accreditation process and maintaining an accreditation award.
  • Summary of changes to standards requirements
  • References providing evidence and support for key topics in the standards
  • Individual chapter overviews providing a brief description of the chapter
  • List of standards-only at the beginning of each chapter, following the overview, for quick reference
  • Cross-references in the standards throughout the manual to indicate when requirements are related 

The effective date of the 2nd Edition is 1 July 2018, which means all surveys that begin on or after this date will be surveyed under the 2nd Edition. 

The 2nd Edition Primary Care Standards will be available as an electronic PDF only. 


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