The Joint Commission released a Report today titled "Health Care at the Crossroads: Guiding Principles for the Development of the Hospital of the Future" that, among other things, emphasizes that health information technology ("HIT") will be key to hospitals’ viability in the future. According to the Report, HIT will play a significant role in enhancing health care quality and safety. More specifically, the Report recommends that hospitals adopt integrative technologies across their facilities and systems, and find competent consultants to provide technology and investment guidance. Ultimately, the Report concludes that HIT is the inevitable way of the future for health care.
In light of the release of the Report, I will be monitoring whether the Report will ultimately impact the Joint Commission’s Hospital Accreditation Standards in the future. Interestingly, the introductory page of the Report specifically states that the Report does not intend to describe new Joint Commission requirements for health care organizations, nor does it intend to suggest that new requirements will be forthcoming in the future. However, it is certainly possible and imaginable that the adoption and use of HIT may be woven into any number of Elements of Performance in future versions of the Joint Commission’s Accreditation Standards.