Joint Commission Big Book of Checklists, The

Joint Commission Big Book of Checklists, The
2016 © Joint Commission Resources
Joint Commission Resources
ISBN-10: 1-59940-939-9 / ISBN-13: 978-1-59940-939-9
Patient Safety and Quality Improvement


Health care has become increasingly complex in the past few decades. Patients are developing multiple diseases, and they’re living longer too. In response, the health care industry has created new procedures, new technologies, and new medications. In the high-stress reality of many health care settings there are distractions and conflicting demands and staff turnover with no time for training and less and less money to support proper processes. It’s easy to see the need to simplify complex tasks. Yet it must be done in a way that helps make patient care safe and effective.

That’s where checklists come in: They provide a standardized approach to simplifying complex tasks. And standardization is one of the main tenants of highly reliable organizations. When health care providers consistently and correctly adhere to well-developed checklists, those checklists help to ensure that every patient receives safe care based on evidence-based practice.

The Joint Commission Big Book of Checklists is chock full of checklists applicable to all accreditation program settings, easily customizable for your organization. Dozens of checklists are included to help you assess risks, make decisions, gather information, and evaluate policies and partners, as well as conduct procedures more safely and consistently. The following types and templates are available in the book, following the mnemonic device of ADEPT:

  • Assessment Checklist: A list of questions asked to check a defined level or status of something to determine if changes need to be made (“Is this okay or not?”)
  • Decision Checklist: A list of questions to ask when making a specific—and often difficult—decision so you don’t forget to ask them (“Have I asked all the questions I need to?”)
  • Evaluation Checklist: A list of criteria, usually in the form of questions, used to determine the quality, value, or merit of something (“Does this have everything it should have?”)
  • Procedure Checklist: A sequential list of steps in a task, used to make sure the task is done consistently and correctly (“Do this and then that”)
  • To-Do Checklist: A list of things to do or collect or consider, in no particular order, so you don’t forget them (“Do I have everything?” or “Have I done all this?”)

The Joint Commission Big Book of Checklists aims to help you find success using checklists by giving you a wide range of checklists of various standardized types to try in your organization. If you have the electronic version, all of them are writeable (you can modify them for internal use) and can be copied for internal use. The print version comes with the checklists and templates on a flash drive. And all reflect the features of well-designed checklists.

Key Topics

  • • The role of checklists in health care and what makes a good checklist
  • • Checklist topics cover continuous compliance and survey readiness, performance improvement, leadership, staffing, care of the patient, records and information technology, infection prevention and control, medication management, and the physical environment

Key Featurs

  • • Dozens of downloadable, customizable checklists
  • • Standardized checklist formats for various purposes, such as risk assessments and safe procedures
  • • Introduction to health care checklist use, including implementation
  • • A checklist for evaluating checklists and templates to make your own checklists
  • • Applicable to all major accreditation program settings—ambulatory, behavioral, critical access hospital, hospital, laboratory, nursing care centers, office-based surgery practices, and home care
  • • Reviewed by Joint Commission experts

Standards: Various accreditation standards (when a checklist focuses on Joint Commission requirements, it is noted as part of the title and/or description of the checklist)

Settings: Ambulatory care, behavioral health care, critical access hospital, home care hospital, laboratory, nursing care centers, and office-based surgery practices

Key Audience

  • • Accreditation professionals
  • • Performance improvement specialists
  • • Executive and clinical leadership
  • • Infection control practitioners
  • • Medication safety officers and patient safety officers
  • • Human resources professionals
  • • Facility managers

Doody's Reviews

Score: 100/100
5/5 Stars
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Quotes, Reviews or Testimonials

"This is a very exciting resource. It will be a useful asset for any healthcare organization willing to invest the time in using it. It compares quite favorably to other checklist resources, and it is well organized, easy to follow, easy to read, and easy to use."

-- Joann Badget, RN MSN (James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital) Doody's Review


The audience encompasses various professionals in the healthcare environment from the quality team to clinical practitioners. These checklists and templates are written with experience to guide improvements in meeting The Joint Commission Standards and National Patient Safety Goals for all eight accreditation programs and settings: Ambulatory Health Care (AHC), Behavioral Health Care (BHC), Critical Access Hospital (CAH), Hospital (HAP), Laboratory (LAB), Nursing Care Centers (NCC), Office-Based Surgery Practices (OBS), and Home Care (OME).

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