Joint Commission launches equity certification for hospitals

The Joint Commission has launched a voluntary Health Care Equity Certification Program, which will be open by application to all of its accredited hospitals as well as critical access hospitals beginning July 1. 

The certification process will take between four and six months to complete and will focus on recognizing and addressing systemic racism and health inequities and the role hospitals and health systems can play in supporting sustained equity in healthcare. 

The Joint Commission has held longstanding accreditation requirements related to healthcare equity, but the launch of its new certification program underscores that and adds new requirements to reduce disparities. In addition to the program's launch, healthcare equity will also be designated as a National Patient Safety Goal as of July 1.

Recipient organizations will be distinguished as those which are "making health care equity a strategic priority and are collaborating with patients, families, caregivers and external organizations to identify and address needs that help translate equitable health care into better health outcomes," Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD, president and CEO of The Joint Commission Enterprise said in a June 27 news release.

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