Although many of our readers would be familiar with Joint Commission and Joint Commission International, please explain your organizations’ structure, function, mission and activities with our readers.
The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized throughout the US as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. The mission of The Joint Commission is to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. In 1994, The Joint Commission extended this mission outside the United States with the creation of Joint Commission International (JCI).
Joint Commission International provides leadership and innovative solutions to help health care organizations across all settings improve performance and outcomes. Expert teams work with hospitals and other health care organizations, health systems, government ministries, public health agencies, academic institutions, and businesses to achieve peak performance in patient care.
JCI helps organizations to help themselves through:
• Earning JCI accreditation and certification, recognized as the global Gold Seal of Approval®
• Providing leading education
JCI is working to improve health care quality and patient safety around the world. We assume that healthcare systems in each country must have various differences based on country’s culture, system, and people. How do you manage to overcome cultural barriers and offer right directions for healthcare providers in each country?
There is much that is universal about safe practices in health care, and we share this across borders throughout the world. We are also pay careful attention to cultural differences and have implemented this through regional offices and staff.
We understand that local needs vary and diverse cultures present unique patient care challenges. Yet, our singular focus on the highest patient care standards and results-oriented process improvement has earned the respect of health care leaders from around the world.
As the leader of JCI and healthcare service industry’s key opinion leader, where do you think the healthcare service industry is headed? What do you think is the most important issue in the industry?
The biggest issue facing the healthcare service industry is delivering high quality, affordable services, safely. This is especially important as virtually all parts of the world are seeing older populations with rapidly growing rates of chronic disease. Private and public payers are expecting better value from providers and health care leaders are feeling this pressure.
There are over 24 healthcare providers in South Korea which have been accredited by JCI. What are JCI’s business strategies in Asian region including Korea? How do you value East Asian countries and their healthcare providers?
The east Asian countries present a unique opportunity, with the dichotomy of both the emerging economies and emerged economies working side by side. JCI has a very strong focus in East Asia, including Korea. Our goal is to partner with healthcare organizations who want to embark on the journey of continuous improvement in patient safety and quality. At the same time we are also in discussions with the Ministries of Health to look at opportunities to create awareness through education, consulting services to help upgrade the health services as well as to build capabilities in the region and also to raise the bar to be at par with western economies.
Healthcare providers are making rapid progress especially in the private sector with a lot of investment in new hospitals and in emerging markets. It is encouraging to see new hospitals are looking for international accreditation as they are being built. We are investing time and effort in the region to be part of this journey of continuous improvement for patients safety and quality.
You have long teaching experiences including teaching at Columbia University and New York University. Teaching students and managing huge entities seems very different tasks to conduct. How did you transit yourself from an educator to a business leader? Or how do you manage to combine all those experiences synergistically?
My transition from an academic environment to running a business was relatively smooth. It was made easier by the fact that I held fairly large management positions earlier in my career, before I became a college professor. Also, I believe that a good leader needs to be a good teacher. Leaders need to be able to communicate the vision and strategy of an organization to the people who work there. They need to be inspiring to the work force and other constituencies with the operational discipline to get the work done. This is very similar to the essence of what a teacher does in the classroom.