Accreditation

JCAHO plans to change its name in January

Accreditation Connection, December 18, 2006

Beginning in January, the JCAHO plans to change its name to simply, "The Joint Commission." A December 11 memo from JCAHO President Dennis O'Leary to all JCAHO employees reveals the name change plans. "This change is simply intended make our name more memorable than the current 18-syllable Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations," reads O'Leary's memo.

"The shortened name signals and acknowledges the reality of progressive broadening of Joint Commission services and products in order to fulfill our mission," O'Leary continues in the memo. "We have lived this reality over the past two decades, and we will likely live it to an ever greater degree in the future."

Along with the name change comes new logos for the Joint Commission and its publishing and consulting company, Joint Commission Resources Inc. (JCR), and also for its Joint Commission International division and its International Center for Patient Safety.

The changes take effect January 8, coinciding with the JCAHO's annual surveyor conference and training in Chicago where the organization is headquartered.

The JCAHO communications office did not respond last week to inquiries made about the name change. Previously, the JCAHO said it hired a company to develop a brand strategy and a name change was one of the company's recommendations.

Some speculate that the name change has less to do with brand strategy and more to do with an open Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation into the firewall between JCAHO and JCR. If the JCAHO changes its name, perhaps people won't associate the organization with possible negative findings in the GAO report, the thinking goes.

"A knee-jerk reaction to a pending GAO report or genuine?" asks one person about the name change; the person is close to the JCAHO but asked not to be identified.

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