The Joint Commission visited us recently for an unannounced survey. Here are a few areas to consider before your next encounter.
A few weeks ago The Joint Commission descended upon East Cooper Medical Center to do their unannounced survey. I believe this was the eighth Joint Commission survey I have been associated with, and in my opinion the Joint Commission going to unannounced surveys was an excellent idea. By doing this as managers/directors we always need to be prepared in providing a safe environment for our patients and staff.
Obviously the Joint Commission survey is not the only survey we encounter in our day-to-day operations. We have the MQSA survey, and the CMS and our state Bureau of Radiological Health division also do unannounced surveys.
Even though surveys can be an inconvenience, we should welcome them with open arms, as they give us another set of eyes to look at our processes and ensure we are providing a safe environment for those who walk through our doors. Being prepared and keeping staff up to date definitely takes time and organization. Remember to document, document, document! In the eyes of surveyors if it is not in writing it did not happen.
Below are suggested items to be aware of and topics raised during our Joint Commission survey:
Finally, our leadership is critical in promoting a culture of safety. I offer the following suggestions on what we need to do as leaders.