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KershawHealth Joint Commission survey results ‘excellent’

Posted: August 24, 2012 6:56 p.m.
Updated: August 27, 2012 5:00 a.m.

KershawHealth completed its most recent survey by The Joint Commission Aug. 7-10, and the initial results were excellent. During their final briefing, surveyors noted that KershawHealth is performing well throughout the system and providing excellent care for its patients. The commission complimented staff members on their professionalism and care, and noted as well the positive engagement of physicians and board members.

“These are, in fact, the most favorable results that I have seen in my many years as a healthcare CEO,” KershawHealth President and CEO Donnie Weeks said. “And they strongly validate the high quality of care KershawHealth provides to patients. Of course, this simply reinforces what we already know about our organization. I hope everyone recognizes what an outstanding job our staff and physicians do every day.”

The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that certifies more than 19,000 healthcare organizations throughout the United States, including approximately 82 percent of the nation’s hospitals. Its standards address a hospital’s performance in specific areas and help ensure quality patient care and safety, as well as identifying and implementing industry best practices. KershawHealth currently is accredited by The Joint Commission and holds its Gold Seal for National Quality Approval.

“In achieving Joint Commission accreditation, KershawHealth has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients,” said Mark Pelletier, The Joint Commission’s Hospital Programs, Accreditation and Certification Services executive director. “Accreditation is a voluntary process and I commend KershawHealth for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

In actuality, three separate Joint Commission surveys -- for KershawHealth Medical Center (hospital), KershawHealth Home Health/Hospice, and Ambulatory Care -- occurred simultaneously during a four-day period. They were conducted by seven healthcare professionals, including registered nurses, a physician and a life safety codes specialist. The surveys are repeated once every three years and are conducted unannounced.

“We believe The Joint Commission represents the gold standard of care for hospitals, simply because their comprehensive reviews cover every aspect of hospital operations that might impact patient care and safety,” KershawHealth Director of Quality and Regulatory Compliance Stacy Collier said. “While they were here, the surveyors specifically commented on what an outstanding job we are doing with patient care and that our staff is one of KershawHealth’s strongest assets.”

Surveyors engage in a variety of activities, including reviewing records to ensure proper documentation of patient care, physician orders, and the administration of tests or medications. They assess the condition of the physical surroundings to ensure patient and staff safety. This process can be as complex as the documentation, storage, and handling of chemical compounds or prescription medications, and as straightforward as checking under a sink to ensure a leaking pipe has been properly repaired. Surveyors monitor patient care procedures with staff and accompany home health or hospice nurses on home visits. They review personnel files and staff training, speak with hospital employees about their jobs and knowledge of relevant policies and procedures, and evaluate the outcome of care.

“Few institutions ever undergo any review as thorough and detailed as healthcare organizations do during a Joint Commission survey,” KershawHealth Chief Operating Officer Mike Bunch said. “We simply have to be prepared across the board, in all areas. All of our staff and physicians have really risen to the challenge, and they’re to be commended for their dedication to this.”

The Joint Commission’s final survey report should be released by early 2013 and, based on the positive comments received, KershawHealth expects to receive a renewal of its accreditation at that time.

(This information provided by KershawHealth.)

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