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Joint Commission International publishes International Accreditation Standards for Hospitals, 7th edition

Standards published 1 April 2020 and become effective 1 January 2021 Wednesday, April 01 2020

Media Contact:
Maureen Lyons
Corporate Communications 
(630) 792-5171

(OAK BROOK, Illinois, USA – 1 April 2020) – Joint Commission International (JCI) today released Joint Commission International Accreditation Standards for Hospitals, 7th Edition. The manual provides requirements for hospitals and academic medical centers outside the United States to address continuous patient safety and quality improvement. The effective date of these standards is now 1 January 2021 (extended from the originally announced date of 1 October 2020).

Beginning 1 January 2021, all hospitals seeking accreditation or reaccreditation from JCI need to comply with this updated set of accreditation standards, as they will be surveyed under the 7th edition. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, JCI extended the effective date of the standards from 1 October 2020 to 1 January 2021 to allow hospitals and health care professionals to focus their efforts on preparing and caring for patients with COVID-19. 

To help customers understand the 7th edition standards, JCI will release an online curriculum that details changes from the 6th to 7th edition. The curriculum, available free of charge to currently accredited organizations, is planned for May 2020 – well in advance of the new effective date of 1 January 2021. 

JCI international standards are the basis for the accreditation of hospitals and academic medical centers throughout the world. The standards define performance expectations, structures and functions that must be in place to be accredited by JCI. 

The 7th edition includes two main sections, one on patient-centered care and the other on health care organization management. Specific enhancements include new or revised standards in these areas: 

  • International Patient Safety Goals 
  • Care of Patients Chapter that addresses the management of clinical alarm systems, patients at risk of suicide or self-harm, and lasers. 
  • Prevention and Control of Infections Chapter that covers environmental cleanliness for laundry, linens and scrubs, as well as the protection of patients and staff from bloodborne pathogens. 
  • Facility Management and Safety Chapter that addresses fire safety, including the use of interim measures, clarification of expectations for the availability of critical utilities and hemodialysis water quality. 
  • Management of Information Chapter that reviews data access controls, protecting data and information, education and ongoing training of staff who use electronic medical records, and the use of scribes.

Other enhancements include the clarification of sentinel events, adverse events and near misses, an expanded and unified glossary, and updated references and revised chapter overviews. 

Joint Commission International Accreditation Standards for Hospitals, 7th Edition is now available in English. It will follow with release in Chinese, Portuguese, Italian, Hebrew, Japanese, and Indonesian at a later date. 

For more information on JCI standards, please visit


About Joint Commission International
Joint Commission International (JCI) was established in 1994 as a division of Joint Commission Resources, Inc. (JCR), a wholly controlled, nonprofit affiliate of The Joint Commission. Through international accreditation and certification, advisory services, publications and education programs, JCI extends The Joint Commission’s mission worldwide by helping improve the quality of patient care. JCI works with international health care organizations, public health agencies, health ministries and others in more than 100 countries. Visit for more information.



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