Straight Talk - “Joint Commission survey (Part Two)”

September 1, 2011

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Here is Part Two of the story of the first Joint Commission survey of The NCH Healthcare Group.  Let me begin by saying how rare such an audit is.  Most medical offices in America are reluctant to volunteer to undergo this rigorous review, which complies with the Joint Commission’s high standards.  I must admit that when I had a solo practice in Rheumatology, Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, my two colleagues and I never even considered the option of accreditation.  That reality adds to the importance of the following audit results.    

• Sleep Center—Cheryl Attree, manager.
Cheryl and Michelle McDougall, Sleep Tech, clearly recounted each step of a sleep center patient’s experience and shared performance data and a quality questionnaire to underscore our care and concern for patients. 
• Edison Village Lab—Mat Treganza, manager.
Luis Trujillo, phlebotomist, deftly explained the process, from checking patients in utilizing the two patient identifiers and hand hygiene, extracting correct orders out of NextGen EMR, to the drawing and processing of the specimens. Surveyors were impressed with his knowledge of Joint Commission standards.
• Edison Village—Sue LaCount, practice manager.
Valerie Ouillette, paramedic, detailed how she cares for her patients, documents in NextGen EMR, draws blood and runs lab tests—all while she was caring for several patients!  Theresa Holland, LPN, and Dr. Dulce Dudley, pediatrician, demonstrated applications in the NextGen EMR that allow this busy pediatric office to easily graph a child’s growth and document giving vaccine information to parents.  The surveyor was duly impressed.
• Commons Building—Karen Judd, Zulma Garcia and Earl Robinson, practice managers.
Equally impressive were Diane Bogner, Radiology PSR, and Rosy Gorrostieta, Physical Therapy PSR/Team Lead, who demonstrated outstanding customer service skills, helping patients register for treatment. 
• Commons Building Anticoagulation Clinic—Miriam Means, practice manager.
Jean Harvey, a recent addition to the group, excellently demonstrated how the clinic uses established protocols to ensure safe administration of anticoagulation therapy.  Her skill underscored the NCH Healthcare Group’s commitment to effective orientation and training for new employees. 
• Orthopedics—Barbara Ann Gaetzi, practice manager.
Jennifer Cruz meticulously explained her role in caring for Orthopedic patients, reviewing medication management, showing the locked sample cabinet, and the process she uses to log in medications and specifically track who is given which sample—invaluable information in the event of a medication recall.
Having a credible, independent, knowledgeable third party—like the Joint Commission—review, educate, motivate and generally validate is invaluable for our institution and our community’s health.  Clearly, we’re not perfect.  But the strides we’ve made toward making NCH a recognized world-class hospital are a credit to the outstanding people who work here. You all should be proud.

Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

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