April 29, 2024

The Joint Commission launches new telehealth accreditation program

Editor's Note

Effective July 1, telehealth providers can apply for a new Joint Commission accreditation designed to ensure safe, high-quality care.

Announced April 23 by The Joint Commission, the new Telehealth Accreditation Program is designed for organizations that exclusively provide care, treatment and services via telehealth. Hospitals and other healthcare organizations that have written agreements in place to provide care, treatment and services via telehealth to another organization’s patients have the option to apply for the new accreditation.

The new program provides standard similar to those of other Joint Commission accreditation programs, such as requirements for information management, leadership, medication management, patient identification, documentation, and credentialing and privileging. According to the report, requirements specific to telehealth accreditation include:

  • Streamlined emergency management requirements to address providing care and clinical support remotely rather than in a physical building.
  • New standards for telehealth provider education and patient education about the use of telehealth platforms and devices.
  • A standards chapter focused on telehealth equipment, devices and connectivity.

Standards may be filtered based on the telehealth modality or service provided. For organizations that meet eligibility requirements, The new accreditation program will also replace current telehealth accreditation products in in The Joint Commission’s Ambulatory Health Care and Behavioral Health Care and Human Services Accreditation Programs.

“The use of telehealth in the United States increased 154% during early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and stabilized at levels 38 times higher than levels in 2019. As telehealth continues to evolve, it was imperative to create a new accreditation program to provide a framework to support the integrity of patient safety regardless of the care setting,” says Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD, president and chief executive officer, The Joint Commission enterprise.  


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