March 14, 2003

Buerhaus to serve on JCAHO nursing council

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Buerhaus to serve on JCAHO nursing council

Peter Buerhaus, Ph.D., Valere Potter Professor of Nursing and associate dean for Research, has been appointed to the new Nursing Advisory Council of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

JCAHO is a national, independent, non-profit standards-setting and accrediting body in health care that evaluates and accredits nearly 17,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.

The new Nursing Advisory Council will provide feedback to help JCAHO develop and revise standards, policies, and procedures that support performance improvement relating to nursing in health care organizations.

Buerhaus said his appointment to the new Advisory Council stems from his research “Nurse-Staffing and the Quality of Care in Hospitals,” published May 30 in The New England Journal of Medicine.

“This is yet another example of how concerns over the impact of the current nursing shortage have ascended the agenda of the policy making and regulatory structures in health care,” Buerhaus said. “Because the Commission is the major accrediting arm of the hospital industry, if hospitals do not receive accreditation, it’s a huge economic problem for a hospital. JCAHO is now including regulations that require hospitals to show that they are improving patient outcomes that are related to nurses as a requirement for accreditation. Among other things, the new council will help guide JCAHO through the implementation of this process.”