In April of this year Walker Baptist underwent a rigorous unannounced on-site, four-day survey. The Joint Commission survey team consisted of a general surgeon, registered nurses and an engineer who evaluated the Walker Baptist facility and team for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.
According to Robbie Hindman, vice president of patient care for Walker Baptist, the Joint Commission physician and nurses were in the facility, talking with physicians, staff, volunteers and patients, reviewing charts and employee records for four days. This process is called running tracers. The surveyors take an active inpatient and trace their path through their health care experience. The engineer surveyor is on the team to evaluate the facility’s overall environment of care for safety.
“With this Joint Commission accreditation, we are making a significant investment in quality on a day-to-day basis from the top down. Joint Commission accreditation provides us a framework to take our organization to the next level and helps create a culture of excellence,” says Bob Phillips, administrator of Walker Baptist. “Maintaining Joint Commission accreditation, for our organization, is a key step toward continuing excellence and advancing the care we provide.”
“Joint Commission surveyors are experienced health care professionals, trained to provide expert advice and education during the survey, said Anne Allen, assistant administrator for Walker Baptist. “Joint Commission standards focus on performance improvement strategies that help health care organizations continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to their patients.”
In addition to the main hospital survey, the laboratory goes through a separate Joint Commission survey every two years and received their most recent accreditation in July of 2011. Their Joint Commission standards address a similar tracing process that follow laboratory specimens from the doctor’s order into the laboratory, from specimen collection then back to the patient through result reporting, focusing on the provision of high quality, safe laboratory services integrated with patient care. These standards highlight the essential nature of laboratory services on the actual care and delivery processes that contribute to and support the overall health care delivery system.
“In achieving these Joint Commission accreditations, Walker Baptist Medical Center and its Laboratory have demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients,” said Mark Pelletier, R.N., M.S., executive director, Hospital Programs, Accreditation and Certification Services, The Joint Commission. “Accreditation is a voluntary process and I commend them for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”