Joint Commission International

JCI is an organisation which sets the international JCI standards for care quality and patient safety. If inspection by JCI shows that the care institution’s quality system meets the high requirements set by the standards, JCI issues hospital accreditation.

The accreditation also reveals points for improvement in an organisation and checks whether a culture prevails in the organisation of addressing such points and striving to optimise care and quality. This is done with reference to the 300 JCI standards, which are translated into 1,300 objective and measurable criteria.

JCI is active worldwide and is a division of the Joint Commission USA, which was set up 50 years ago and accredits around 90 percent of American hospitals.

At UZ Leuven’s request, JCI audited the entire hospital. In early July, JCI then awarded accreditation to UZ Leuven, making it the first Belgian hospital to achieve this distinction. JCI has thus confirmed UZ Leuven’s focus on superior quality and on the constant improvement of patient safety.

How does JCI accreditation work?

JCI inspects the hospital from the viewpoint of how it works from day to day. The most important approach involves following what happens to the individual patient during all aspects of treatment and care, from pre-admission to post-discharge. Personnel, patients and visitors are all involved in the evaluation.

Analogous approaches are used to evaluate the prevention and control of infections, medication policy, personnel policy, building and infrastructure safety, fire safety and clinical policy. There too, it is important for the JCI standards to be monitored.

This method predicated on a patient focus distinguishes JCI from other forms of recognition and certification, which are often heavily based on a policy and organisational viewpoint. JCI’s approach focuses on all aspects of the hospital’s functioning right across the institution.
The audits are performed by a group of JCI-trained and JCI-appointed auditors.

The period leading up to the first accreditation

UZ Leuven has focused on quality and patient safety for years, relying on the knowledge, motivation and outstanding team spirit of its personnel. In this quality culture, in order to raise patient care and its results to ever higher levels, the accreditation process was started two years ago.

In addition to the existing measures, procedures were optimised and new ones implemented to ensure a safe, high-quality hospital for patients, visitors and personnel on an ongoing basis.