The Joint Commission announced the launch of a new Assisted Living Community (ALC) accreditation program, which will help assisted living organizations deliver consistent and reliable care for residents. Applications will begin to be accepted on July 1.
Today, there are more than 30,000 ALCs in the United States serving more than 800,000 residents. With growth in recent years, ALCs have been increasingly shifting from a mostly hospitality-based environment to a more health care-focused setting by offering services for medication management, skilled nursing and dementia care. This shift has highlighted the need for national, consensus-based standards and accreditation.
The Joint Commission’s ALC accreditation standards were developed with consideration of scientific evidence and best practices, as well as state regulations and Life Safety Codes. Experts in the field of geriatrics, dementia care, rehabilitation, infection control and senior housing were actively engaged in a collaborative effort to design standards that align with quality care delivery and safe practices.
The standards address the environment, staffing, emergency management, dementia care, medication management, provision of care and services, process improvement and more. In addition to an extensive internal review of the standards by subject matter experts, feedback and expert guidance were received from learning visits, a Technical Advisory Panel (TAP), Standards Review Panel/TAP field review, public field review, and pilot testing.
The new standards appear in the March 2021 E-dition of the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Assisted Living Communities. Organizations may view the standards by requesting a free 90-day trial of E-dition.
In addition to the standards, the ALC accreditation program requires organizations to track and report on five standardized performance measures:
· Off-Label Antipsychotic Drug Use
· Resident Falls
· Resident Preferences and Goals of Care
· Advanced Care Plan/Surrogate Decision Maker
· Staff Stability