A History of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals

James S. Roberts, MD; Jack G. Coale, MA; Robert R. Redman, MA
JAMA. 1987;258(7):936-940. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400070074038.
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THE HISTORY of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals is a story of the health professions' commitment to patient care of high quality in the 20th century. The story began on a summer day in England in 1910. While riding back to London from a visit to a tuberculosis sanitarium, Dr Ernest Codman was explaining his end-result system of hospital organization to Dr Edward Martin. According to Dr Codman, his system would enable a hospital to track every patient it treated long enough to determine whether or not the treatment was effective. If the treatment was not effective, the hospital would then try to find out how to prevent similar failures in the future. Dr Martin responded that he thought Dr Codman's system was one of the important reasons why an American college of surgeons should be established:

An American College would be a fine thing if it could


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