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Joint Commission

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Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations

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The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, or JCAHO for short, acknowledges that this type of care is very important and has made it mandatory for hospitals to have some form of spiritual or holistic care available for their patients.  “JCAHO recommends that health care organizations (1) acknowledge patients right to spiritual care and (2) provide for these needs through pastoral care and a diversity of services that may be offered by certified, ordained, or lay officials.”

 

JCAHO who sets the standard for care and annually visits healthcare facilities states that there are five focus points to asses for a patients spiritual needs; capacity, search, doing, experience, and evil. The following is a small breakdown of each focus point:

Capacity is the ability to love and be loved, and to relate to something larger then life.  The search aspect is when a patient may be searching for meaning, purpose or direction in their life. The category of doing is related to an actual practicing of a religion or spiritual discipline on a regular basis. Experience is the most difficult category to define because many people view their experiences differently. Examples of these would include anything from a deep understanding or  “transcendence”, visions of religious figures, or just simply a heightened sense of intuition. Finally the last category is evil this is included because it is not possible to approach all people as spiritual beings with the assumption that spirituality can only be a positive view. Also there are many spiritual systems that do not believe in “evil.” (La Pierre, 2003)