Are Accredited Nursing Homes Safer?

A new study in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety entitled ‰ÛÏSafety Culture ‰ÛÒ Relationship Between Nursing Home Safety Culture and Joint Commission Accreditation‰Û suggests that nursing homes accredited by The Joint Commission have a more robust culture of resident safety than non-accredited facilities and has a beneficial impact on resident safety issues such as staffing, teamwork, training, non-punitive responses to mistakes, and communication openness.
Joint Commission accreditation appeared to be associated with a more favorable resident safety culture in nursing homes. Assessing a nursing home‰Ûªs safety culture is an organization‰Ûªs first step toward improving the culture of safety.

Very few nursing homes in the United States seek accreditation beyond what is required to receive payment under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Fewer than 15% of nursing homes are accredited by The Joint Commission or other independent accreditation organizations.