Ernest Amory Codman Award

Facts about the Ernest Amory Codman Award

The Ernest Amory Codman Award is presented to health care organizations for achievement in the use of process and outcomes measures to improve organization performance and, ultimately, the quality and safety of care provided to the public. Named for the physician regarded in health care as the "father of outcomes measurement," the Codman Award was created in 1996 to showcase the effective use of performance measures, thereby enhancing knowledge and encouraging the use of performance measurement to improve the quality and safety of health care.

Ernest Amory Codman Award

Award categories

  • Ambulatory Care
  • Assisted Living
  • Behavioral Health Care
  • Home Care (Includes Home Health, Personal Care and Support Services, Infusion Therapy, Home Medical Equipment, and Hospice Care)
  • Hospitals
  • Laboratories
  • Long Term Care
  • Networks (Includes Managed Care Plans, Integrated Delivery Networks, Preferred Provider Organizations, Managed Behavioral Health Care Organizations, and other Health Care Networks)
  • Multiple Organization Team (Composed of multiple Joint Commission accredited health care organizations that work collaboratively on a single performance improvement initiative).
  • Disease-Specific Care Certification Program


  • Applications are accepted only from Joint Commission accredited organizations or Disease-specific Care certified programs.
  • Accredited organizations may apply only in an accreditation category under which they are accredited (unless it is a multiorganization entry). Examples include:
    • Psychiatric hospitals are evaluated under the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals and are therefore eligible in the hospital category.
    • Integrated delivery systems evaluated under the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Health Care Networks are eligible to apply under the network category.
    • A home care corporation submitting a performance improvement initiative for a group of its agencies is eligible under the multiple organization team category. It is not eligible under the home care category.
    • Hospitals with distinct governance and ownership that work together on a community-wide performance improvement initiative are eligible to apply under the multiple organization team category, not the hospital category.
  • Organizations that are not Joint Commission accredited but which have a Disease-Specific Care certified program are eligible to submit an application for that certified program.
  • A Joint Commission accredited health care organization or certified program may submit more than one initiative.
  • Applications for the laboratory accreditation category will only be accepted if the CLIA number of the applicant laboratory has been surveyed and is accredited by the Joint Commission.
  • Organizations that have a Joint Commission commissioner as an active member of the medical or administrative staff are disqualified from award eligibility.

Application Deadline

Applications must be received at the Joint Commission no later than February 17, 2006. Completed applications should be sent to:

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
Teena Wilson
Codman Award Evaluation Committee
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, Ill 60181

Completed applications should include the following:

  • Application Questionnaire (7 complete sets)
  • Demographic Information Form
  • Abstract (short-one page paragraph)
  • $350 Application fee for all categories, with the exception of multiple organization category, which is a $500 Application Fee.
  • Organizations that submit  more than one initiative will need to fill out a separate application and submit a separate entry fee for each initiative.
  • The total number of pages for the narrative is no more than 10 pages and no more than 10 additional pages for pictures, graphs, and data tables that are part of the appendices to the application questionnaire. 

Applications will not be returned and are considered confidential. There will be an acknowledge receipt of your application e-mailed to the primary contact listed on the Demographic Information Form two weeks after the deadline date.

Application and review process

An eligible organization or a multiple organization team may submit any performance measurement and improvement initiative that reflects a significant performance improvement achievement within the organization. Submissions are blinded before the evaluation process begins. The Codman Award Evaluation Committee, composed of experts in performance improvement, reviews the applications and identifies organizations that may receive an on-site visit. 

The on-site visit is conducted by a special evaluation team that reviews the submitted performance measurement and improvement activity, validates the information submitted in the application, and reviews the relationship between the initiative and the organization's overall quality improvement framework. The Codman Award Evaluation Committee then evaluates the on-site visit findings and recommends award recipients in award categories to the Executive Committee of the Board of Commissioners of the Joint Commission. If, in the committee's estimation, no initiative within an award category merits a Codman Award, no award will be presented in that category.

Award winners

Winners are notified in September. Each winner receives a specially designed award that is presented during Joint Commission Resources' annual national conference, held in November 2006.

Individual award

Each year, the Joint Commission also offers an award recognizing an individual who has played a significant leadership role in promoting the use of performance measures to improve health care services, or who has made major contributions to the development and testing of performance measures or the science and art of quality improvement. The Codman Award Evaluation Committee oversees the review process for the individual award.

For more information

Please contact Joint Commission Customer Service at (630) 792-5800 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT.