Contrasting The Joint Commission’s Assisted Living and Nursing Care Center Standards



The Joint Commission’s accreditation standards for assisted living and nursing care centers (skilled nursing) have the same focus. Both sets of standards focus on quality and safety of care, treatment, and services provided. The Joint Commission assisted living accreditation standards provide an opportunity for assisted living communities to raise their performance bar by implementing achievable optimums specific to structure, process, and outcome.


Differences in standards can be found in the targeted areas of human resources (specifically credentialing), the National Patient Safety Goals, medication management, and certain aspects of infection control related to antimicrobial surveillance.


Assisted living standards require organizations to track and report on five performance measures: 

  • Off-Label Antipsychotic Drug Use

  • Resident Falls

  • Resident Preferences and Goals of Care

  • Advanced Care Plan/Surrogate Decision Maker

  • Staff Stability

Achieve Accreditation was honored to support the first assisted living organization in the nation to obtain accreditation in the fall of 2021. Achieve Accreditation works closely with organizations to ensure they have the necessary tools, resources, and guidance. While a successful survey is a key outcome, our ultimate focus is to work with organization staff to harness the true power of The Joint Commission standards to greatly enhance everyday quality and safety cultures.



Suzann Armstrong RN, is a Senior Consultant at Achieve Accreditation. Achieve Accreditation has helped skilled nursing providers and assisted living organizations to obtain and maintain their Joint Commission Accreditation for over 30 years.