This blog is taken from a recent HealthStream webinar entitled “New Joint Commission Standards Aim to Reduce Healthcare Disparities: 6 Things Your Organization Should Do Now.” The webinar featured Kathy Poston and Shaifali Ray. Both presenters are Vice Presidents, Client Delivery for Chartis Just Health Collective.
The health care industry continues to develop strategies that will address health disparities. National organizations are committing those health equity strategies into regulations and standards. Beginning in 2023, The Joint Commission will be incorporating health equity into its accreditation standards. These new standards will apply to accredited ambulatory, behavioral health and human services organizations, critical access hospitals, and acute care hospitals and will aim to reduce healthcare disparities.
This briefing focused on these new standards. HealthStream partner, Chartis Just Health Collective, shared considerations beyond “check the box” strategies and focused on tactical actions health care organizations can take right now to meet these new standards.
Poston began by defining health equity in terms of what it is and is not. “Health equity is a transformation of the organization’s culture, strategy and operations to create a healthcare system that is free of bias, discrimination and health care disparities,” said Poston. She encouraged leaders not to think of health equity as simply a department, training program, educational program, checkbox activity, project or methodology.
The Joint Commission is bringing this issue into even sharper focus for hospitals by developing accreditation standards for leadership, patient rights and medical records. However, the Joint Commission is not the only agency that has developed health equity standards for healthcare organizations. Ray identified some additional agencies and accrediting bodies that will be focusing their attention on this issue.
As health equity becomes more of a focus for regulators and accrediting bodies, the Joint Commission has identified three focus areas. Ray shared that these standards became effective in January and they focus on three areas:
Ray and Poston then turned their attention to steps that hospital leaders should take today to prepare for these new standards.
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