Joint Commission publishes 2009 standards online
The Joint Commission’s revised standards, rationales and elements of performance for 2009 are now available online.

The standards will take effect Jan. 1, 2009 and have been placed online to give healthcare organizations time to become familiar with the new language, ordering and numbering.

The changes are part of the Standards Improvement Initiative (SII), launched in 2006 as part of the commission’s ongoing quality improvement efforts. SII focuses on clarifying standards language, ensuring that standards are program-specific, deleting redundant and nonessential standards and consolidating similar standards.

While the commission said that no new requirements were added, chapter overviews, standards, introductions, rationales and elements of performance were designed for ease of use. In the standards reorganization, requirements were split or consolidated. Standards have been renumbered and reordered to allow electronic sorting and to allow the addition of new requirements in the future.

The SII “represents the Joint Commission’s continuous commitment to make the standards clear, relevant and applicable in the specific healthcare setting in which they are used,” says Mark R. Chassin, MD, MPH, president of the commission. “These changes will better guide healthcare organizations in providing patients with the best care possible.”

The commission said that a history tracking report is available online to help organizations see what changes occurred from previous to revised standards. The tracking allows users to see what happened to each standard, its new number and how it changed.