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The World in Medicine
February 9, 2000

International Quality

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JAMA. 2000;283(6):734. doi:10.1001/jama.283.6.734-JWM00000-4-1

Setting the stage for worldwide quality improvement efforts, the Joint Commission International (JCI) has published the first comprehensive set of international quality standards for hospitals.

The standards will serve as a basis for JCI accreditation of individual health care facilities, as well as for establishing accreditation programs in nations outside the United States. The standards can guide international health care organizations in preparing for a JCI survey, seeking or maintaining accreditation, and improving overall performance.

"Health care organizations around the world are seeking to create environments that focus on quality and strive for continuous improvement," said Karen Timmons, JCI chief executive officer. The standards are adaptable to local legal, religious, and cultural practices. They have been evaluated in tests in Latin America, Western Europe, and the Middle East. In addition to patient care and safety, they address family rights, infection control, and other areas.

The JCI, established in 1998 by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, has provided consulting services to more than 40 nations, including Poland, Russia, and South Africa. For more information on the standards, send e-mail to pvanoste@jc-ia.com, see http://www.jcwc.com, or telephone (630) 268-3432.