the intelligent content company

The Joint Commission connects Standards to Database using the Intelligent Content Technology


10,000+ employees


Health Care


United States/Illinois

An independent not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission (JCAHO) selected the Intelligent Content Technology when it sought to improve the accuracy of its renowned accreditation standards. The business situation required the transfer of content from a document to the database, but doing so manually was unacceptable to JCAHO. It employed the Intelligent Content Plug-In to make it easier for the standards stewards to maintain accuracy of the documents, without laborious manual checks. The result - JCAHO improved accuracy, reduced data entry errors, and saved time for its personnel.

Intelligent Content Architecture for Accreditation Standards
Intelligent Content Architecture for Accreditation Standards

Business Situation

Headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, JCAHO is the nation's predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. JCAHO accredits and certifies more than 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. It employs approximately 1,000 people in its surveyor force, at its central office, and at a satellite office in Washington, D.C.

Since 1951, JCAHO has maintained state-of-the-art Standards that focus on improving the quality and safety of care provided by health care organizations. JCAHO has a rigorous process for any modifications to the Standards. All modifications require review and approval by multiple stakeholders, and a final approval by a committee. A team of "Standards Stewards" maintain the integrity of these documents. The documents are maintained in Microsoft® Word. However, upon the completion of the modification cycle, published Standards are used in all official material, including products and programs offered by the JCAHO. Any discrepancy between the official published versions causes questions and confusion, which is unacceptable in the healthcare business environment.

JCAHO sought to connect the Standard documents to the database it maintains, from which all official content is published. They wanted to make sure that there are no discrepancies between the approved version and the database version.

The Solution

After extensive research and consultation with advisory firm Gartner, JCAHO recognized that a "mini" Content Architecture needed to be in place between the document and database. While the database itself was governed by tables and an explicit schema, the schema for the documents was understood only by the Standards' Stewards. JCAHO’s IT sought to put a schema in place for the document, so that a contextual difference between the document and database content could be performed.

The project team developed an XML-schema and attached it to Microsoft® Word 2003, using the custom-schema support feature.Then, using the Intelligent Content Plug-In, Standards' Stewards could see the exact difference between the document and the database. The difference was shown using Word's revisions, which made it easy for the Stewards to make corrections to the document. The project team also developed a direct integration to the database from the document. This feature was used by the Stewards to chunk the document to the database, once they were satisfied that only approved revisions are in the document.


By using the Intelligent Content Plug-In, JCAHO’s Standard Stewards were able to improve the accuracy of the documents, and save time on reviewing differences. Further, the direct integration of the document to the database eliminated any copy/paste or content entry errors.

The JCAHO's IT was able to use the "mini" content-architecture developed by Intelligent Content Architects in developing its enterprise architecture for the Standard documents.

About this Case Study

Copyright © 2008 ictect,inc. All rights reserved. icPlugIn, “Intelligent Content Plug-In”, “the intelligent content company”, and “intelligent content architecture” are trademarks or registered trademarks of ictect, inc. All other product and/or company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective holders. ictect, inc. does not endorse any of the products or technologies referred in the case study, except for Intelligent Content Plug-In. The customer organization does not endorse any technologies referred in this case study. This case study is for informational purposes only. ictect, inc. makes no warranties, express or implied, in this case study. Please contact regarding any questions about this case study.

Publication History

Published: September 2008