Joint Commission Notice

The Joint Commission uses information from a variety of sources to strengthen its oversight activities and improve the quality and safety of care in the nearly 15,000 health care organizations it accredits and certifies. Their Office of Quality Monitoring would like to know of any complaints regarding the quality of care at a Joint Commission-accredited health care organization. The Joint Commission encourages you to first bring your complaint to the attention of the health care organization leaders.

How to Report a Complaint to the Joint Commission

How to Report a Complaint to the Joint Commission

Complaints can be submitted online or sent by mail, fax, or e-mail. When submitting the complaint, summarize the issues in one to two pages and include the name, street address and state of the health care organization. You may provide your name and contact information or submit your complaint anonymously. Providing your contact information does enable The Joint Commission to inform you about the actions taken in response to your complaint and also to contact you should additional information be needed. It is The Joint Commission's policy to treat your name as confidential information and not to disclose it to any other panel. However, it may be necessary to share the complaint with the subject organization in the course of the complaint investigation. Also, The Joint Commission policy forbids accredited organizations from taking retaliatory actions against employees for having reported quality of care concerns to them.

Effective Sept. 1: Automated patient safety 800 line informs how to report events

Beginning Sept. 1, callers to The Joint Commission’s patient safety event phone line — 1-800-994-6610 — will receive automated instructions on how to file a report or concern; the line will no longer be answered by a staff member. This is being done to lessen confusion and to provide more accurate information for the caller. In particular, this will help address the issue of callers attempting to contact by phone to report patient safety events, as these reports must be submitted in writing. 

According to Accreditation Participation Requirement (APR) standard APR.09.01.01, organizations need to update their notice instructing patients on how to contact The Joint Commission with the following information about reporting patient safety concerns:

  • At www.jointcommission.org, using the “Report a Patient Safety Event” link in the “Action Center” on the home page of the website.
  • By fax to 630-792-5636.
  • By mail to The Office of Quality and Patient Safety (OQPS), The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181. 

Reports of patient safety events to The Joint Commission must include the health care organization’s name, street address, city and state. 

In the course of evaluating a report, The Joint Commission may share the information with the organization that is the subject of the report. Joint Commission policy forbids accredited organizations from taking retaliatory actions against employees for reporting quality of care concerns to The Joint Commission. 

Patient safety event reports can be submitted anonymously and confidentially. However, those who provide their name and contact information enables The Joint Commission to contact them for more information, if necessary, and to confirm how the report is handled. 

Accredited and certified organizations can still reach OQPS by emailing patientsafetyreport@jointcommission.org or calling the Sentinel Event Phone Line at (630) 792-3700. The process of self-reporting sentinel events remains the same.  

OQPS cannot determine over the phone if an event meets Sentinel Event criteria. Health care organizations must open a Sentinel Event Report on the Joint Commission Connect® extranet site by selecting “Self-Report Sentinel Event” from the dropdown list of “Continuous Compliance Tools.” After the Sentinel Event Report is reviewed, the patient safety specialist assigned to the incident will call the employee who opened the report to discuss reviewability and next steps.