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Responding to Complaints

When a complaint about the quality of care provided by an accredited or certified organization is submitted, The Joint Commission reviews past complaints about the organization, if any, and the organization’s most recent accreditation or certification decision. Depending on the nature of the complaint, The Joint Commission will take one of the following actions:

  • Conduct an unannounced or unscheduled on-site evaluation of the organization if the complaint raises serious concerns about a continuing threat to patient safety or continuing failure to comply with standards
  • Ask the organization to provide a written response to the complaint
  • Review the complaint and the organization’s compliance with related standards at the time of its next accreditation survey, if it's scheduled in the near future
  • Incorporate the complaint into the quality monitoring database that's used to track healthcare organizations over time to identify trends or patterns in their performance