So, who is TJC Anyway?
If you’ve been in healthcare long enough, you’ve heard the dreaded words: TJC is coming. If you’ve been around for a really long time, you’ve probably even heard them referred to as JCAHO. Maybe you went along with the eye-rolls from your co-workers and noticed the look of distress from your manager but secretly wondered what the fuss was all about.
Essentially, hospitals and healthcare agencies need a compliance agency like The Joint Commission to certify them before they are eligible for Medicare reimbursement.
For some outpatient or ambulatory services, this certification process may not make much sense. Still, if you’ve looked around at your hospital patient base lately, you can see why having the ability to bill Medicare is really important.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The whole point of TJC is to promote best practices. The organization’s goal is to promote safety and high-quality care, which is really what you are trying to give your patient anyway. The thing is, it’s hard to unlearn bad habits for surveys, so many hospitals learn the hard way what happens when safety doesn’t actually come first.
TJC is like the police officer in the median. They find the drift, and it’s enough to strike fear into the hearts of nurses everywhere.
There are ways to prepare and it starts with you and your unit. It’s the small things that add up, like not washing your hands every time, meds in unsecured locations, or poor documentation. Start by looking at your processes. What steps are you skipping; where are you attempting to save time? If you aren’t sure what a process is supposed to look like, look it up!
All it takes is one person to identify drift to start the wheel back in the right direction. Stay in your lane and you won’t worry the next time TJC stops by.