TJC denied accreditation to Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle after a surprise review in May revealed noncompliance with 29 standards. A subsequent survey resulted in contingent accreditation.
After the unannounced visit May 20, surveyors concluded that a condition existed “that posed a threat to patients or other individuals served,” and TJC issued a preliminary denial of accreditation. The 29 TJC standards Virginia Mason failed to meet are available online at http://bit.ly/298mflJ. Many of the standards involve the most basic obligations of the hospital, such as educating the patient about his or her follow-up care at discharge; labeling all medications, medication containers, and other solutions; resuscitation services are available throughout the hospital; and the hospital conducts fire drills. A spokesman for the hospital told The Seattle Times that most of the failures involved detailed aspects of the standard. The hospital conducts regular fire drills, for instance, but TJC wanted to see more variation in scheduling the drills, he said.
Following another visit on June 1, TJC issued a contingent accreditation to Virginia Mason. The accrediting agency will conduct another unannounced follow-up survey at Virginia Mason soon to make sure the hospital has corrected the deficiencies identified in the original survey. The hospital released a statement saying hospital officials are “confident we will address [the issues] to TJC’s satisfaction in the coming weeks.”
The accreditation problem comes on the heels of a possible hepatitis B exposure at the hospital. Virginia Mason announced in June that a lapse in hepatitis B screening procedures may have put dialysis patients at risk for the blood infection. The hospital is contacting about 650 patients treated in the hospital’s dialysis unit over the past six years, recommending they be tested for hepatitis B infections.