Joint Commissions’ Survey Activity Resumes

In light of the National Emergency, survey activities were suspended but are now beginning to return. Survey activities will be a new process in order to best serve the organization while protecting those involved in the survey process. Many activities will be virtual including document review, medical record review and group discussions. This will be a learning process but the Joint Commission believes they can conduct effective surveys while providing the necessary oversight to determine compliance for accreditation.

If your organization was due for a survey – please take note of some of the changes to ensure your survey goes as smoothly as possible.

• Document Review will be conducted through electronic submission of documents into a secured portal/share drive system for the survey team members to review prior to the actual date of the survey – dates and deadlines will be sent by your account representative.

• Medical Record Review will be conducted through electronic methods either through document submission or interactive sessions like Zoom. Please note that all survey teams attempt to keep PHI protected and medical records secured.

• Group discussions will probably be held virtually through interactive systems and planning will occur by the survey team lead.

Organizations should review internal processes to ensure that electronic documents can be uploaded, the medical records can be reviewed virtually and that group members all know how to log onto these interactive video systems. The challenge we have seen is that electronic medical record systems are not the easiest to navigate in live virtual sessions – but it is a necessary component of the survey and organizations should do all they can to promote this process. Please engage your IT staff, EMR experts and Regulatory team to practice virtual activities so that your organization can experience the best new survey process that may be possible at this time. Surveys will more than likely be scheduled based on Covid-19 in your local area and may be changed at the last minute if spikes in Covid-19 are identified.

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