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SDS Accreditation Update
Demonstrate readiness for communitywide disaster
Surveyors want outpatient programs to be prepared
Your emergency preparedness plan identifies your plan of action for disasters related to weather, fire, and even pandemics, but if your plan only focuses on what you do within your own program, you may not meet surveyors' expectations.
"We documented our disaster drills and shared our pandemic flu plan, but our surveyor wanted to make sure our plans coincided with our community's area-wide disaster plans," says Ann Cole, RN, BSN, administrator of Ingalls Same Day Surgery Center in Tinley Park, IL. Cole's center had coordinated plans with local police and fire departments and included descriptions of what role staff members would play in a communitywide disaster. "In a large disaster, most victims would go to the local hospital, but our staff can serve as triage nurses and relief staff for hospital nurses, and our clerks can help with hospital admissions," she says. "We also have supplies that can supplement the hospital's supplies."
Medication reconciliation examined
Another area that the surveyor closely examined was the center's medication reconciliation policy, says Cole. "We developed a new form at the beginning of 2007 that collects information on the medications that the patient is taking when they come into our center, and we can add the medications that they are to take following surgery," she says. The nurse completes the form, using information provided by the patient, she explains. "We keep a copy of the list in the patient's chart, and we send a copy home with the patient," she adds.
The surveyor did examine credentialing records, and Cole was surprised that the surveyor wanted to see documentation of nurses' proficiencies for waived lab tests, she says. "We've held staff education on each of the tests we perform in our center and we've added these proficiencies to their competency assessments," she says.
Overall, Cole was pleased with the survey results and the performance of her staff. She says, "Preparation for Joint Commission surveys is a team effort, with different staff members responsible for different areas that we discuss on a monthly basis. It was this teamwork that made a smooth survey possible."
For more information about Cole's Joint Commission survey experience, contact: