Gunnison Valley Hospital completed its 2nd Joint Commission survey on Thursday, March 24th and was successful in passing the rigorous evaluation of its compliance with the Standards of the accreditation organization. Aside from examining the patient care provided at the Hospital, the survey also entails a rigorous examination of the safety of the buildings and the emergency preparedness of the hospital for unexpected events. The Joint Commission is a private organization that establishes Standards for hospital performance and practices for the purposes of conveying the accreditation credential on hospitals that are successful in compliance with the Standards. Board Chair, Dr. Bob Brickman noted, “The Joint Commission accreditation process is totally voluntary and is entered into by hospitals that are interested in demonstrating that are in compliance with the practices of all other hospitals when it comes to quality and safety”.
On March 29th the Hospital received its final report from the Joint Commission that addresses the findings during the survey. From the total of over 2,000 individual Standards, Gunnison Valley Hospital received only 11 recommendations for improvement. As is required from all accredited hospitals, GVH will have 45 days to submit written improvement plans for those recommended variations from the Standards. Dr. Mohammad Ansari, M.D., a practicing Cancer Physician and the lead surveyor for the Joint Commission team complemented the hospital when he noted, “This is the shortest exit conference I’ve ever done”, meaning that GVH had a very short list of recommended improvements. GVH CEO Randy Phelps, a veteran of over 20 Joint Commission surveys during his career observed that “I’ve never heard a surveyor say that”. Dr. Ansari also advised the audience at the Exit Conference that 95% of the physicians that are on the Joint Commission Board of Directors are practicing physicians, emphasizing the strong influence the strong influence that actual medical practice has on the Standards of the JC.
Betsy Bair, Chief Operating Officer for GVH, and the executive team member responsible for the hospital’s compliance with the JC Standards described the results of the survey this way, “Great. Everyone has worked very hard to achieve and maintain continuous compliance.” The community, Board of Trustees, Medical Staff and all the employees should be very proud of how well their hospital did on this challenging test. Now we’ll get started immediately to correct the variant areas and maintain ongoing compliance with all Standards.” Unless special problems are identified the Joint Commission survey occurs every three years, although surveyors may come in for a surprise survey at any time after one year has elapsed from the previous regular survey.
Gunnison Valley Health’s number one goal is to Meet and Exceed National Standards for the Quality of Care and Patient Safety. Joint Commission Accreditation is one measure of GVH’s achievement of this goal. Phelps concluded by saying, “Joint Commission accreditation is very important to GVH and to our community and everyone dedicates themselves to doing the necessary things in the interest of providing the best quality of care and protecting the safety of every patient. Our accreditation is evidence of the commitment of our employees and doctors to providing the best for our patients.”
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