The Joint Commission announces that it will require all employees who travel to healthcare organizations for surveys, reviews, and other onsite activities to be fully vaccinated by October 18. This action will help protect Joint Commission staff, as well as frontline health care workers, staff, and patients in the healthcare organizations that The Joint Commission accredits, certifies, and works with on quality improvement activities.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Joint Commission paused all onsite surveys and reviews from mid-March through May 2020. During that time, processes were developed for conducting offsite (formerly called “virtual”) events. In the latter half of 2020, The Joint Commission was able to resume onsite surveys for some of its accreditation programs using county-level data on COVID-19 rates to determine where onsite events could be conducted safely.

With the advent in early 2021 of COVID vaccines approved under FDA Emergency Use Authorization, The Joint Commission was able to resume a more regular program of unannounced surveys and reviews. 

With the arrival and rapid spread of the Delta variant in the United States, the pandemic took yet another deadly turn. The Joint Commission says it has committed to ensure that all staff who interact onsite with accredited organizations are vaccinated, and strongly encourages vaccination for all healthcare workers.