December is traditionally an exciting month. Many of us enjoy getting together with friends and family, attending parties, and exchanging gifts. This December, the excitement of the season was magnified when we welcomed the Joint Commission (JC) for our triennial survey.
On Tuesday, Dec. 7, the JC surveyors—a nurse, a physician, and an administrator—arrived, ready to take an in-depth look at our processes, practices and environments across all of AAMC’s service lines and locations.
We strive to be perpetually ready for this unannounced survey and have many programs supporting our preparedness—ongoing patient tracers focusing on our improving practices relating to the National Patient Safety Goals, environmental rounds, a safety liaison program, safety fairs, mock JC surveys and Joint Commission Readiness Councils.
And ready we were! Was all your hard work recognized by the JC? The short answer is—absolutely! They were extremely complimentary of the professionalism and competency of our staff. They recognized many of our practices as best practices, such as our medication management program, including pyxis profiling in the ED, clinical contract management, blood bank processes, vendor management and our joint program including post operative program with our patients.
Why is this so important? The JC evaluates a health care organization’s performance in areas that most affect patient health and safety. By achieving accreditation, we have demonstrated our commitment to provide safe, quality care to our patients.
As with any survey, we have several opportunities to improve upon our practices to further enhance the quality and safe care we provide our patients. These include several infection control practices and documentation improvement opportunities on our pain re-assessment and post operative/procedure notes.
Where does this leave us today? We are currently still fully accredited by the Joint Commission and once we complete our follow up on our improvement plans, we will be confirmed for an addition three year accreditation cycle.
As always, we will continue to exercise our ongoing readiness activities!
As many of us know, there is a unique kind of excitement one feels when they hear that the JC will be visiting their unit. And a special kind of satisfaction that comes with a successfully completed survey.
-Anastasia Brown, R.N., C.P.H.Q.