Accreditation Field Report

New survey lets you focus on safety, not standards

Tracer methodology well received by caregivers

After experiencing a recent pilot survey for the new Shared Visions — New Pathways Accreditation Process, staff at Wallingford, CT-based Masonic Healthcare Center gave glowing reports. "There really were no surprises encountered during this survey," says Arthur E. Santilli, MS, MPH, CHE, president.

"The team was very fair in its approach and worked hard to create an atmosphere that was collaborative rather than punitive," he adds.

Evaluating quality of care and services

The new tracer methodology effectively evaluates the quality of care and services of the organization, he says.

"The process is a very interactive method of bringing the survey team directly to the patient care areas and into the patient’s medical records, support materials and records and the clinical work of the providers," Santilli explains. "This method was well received by all of the caregivers involved."

Patient tracers involved individuals who had moved through the continuum including acute care, rehabilitation, and skilled care, and there was considerably more interaction with staff, he reports.

"This was appreciated, since it created a learning and information exchange process that was not evident in past surveys," Santilli continues. "Each encounter provided new learning opportunities for improvement in safety and quality of care."

Expect the time you spend preparing for survey to decrease significantly, he adds. "Quality managers really should not need to spend a great deal of time preparing for this survey process. The Joint Commission has shifted its paradigm from preparation to systems improvement."

Therefore, you can invest your time and energy in achieving excellence in your operating systems and patient care programs, Santilli notes.

"The survey team did a superb job of maximizing every opportunity to educate and reorient staff while they were with us," he says.