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OGJVAMC lauded for multiple best practices

Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center

The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center received praise from The Joint Commission during an in-cycle triennial survey completed Friday, January 19.

The Joint Commission, an independent organization that is the largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care in the United States, enables health care organizations around the world to build a foundation for quality care and patient safety. They assist health care organizations in continuously improving the environment of care by setting quality standards, evaluating facility performance, and providing an interactive educational experience that implements best practices and innovative solutions.

“Doing well on a Joint Commission survey doesn’t happen by accident,” said Phil Shealey, OGJVAMC medical center director. “I’m very proud of our staff and the intentional choices they make every day to put Veterans first, provide safe, quality care and make a difference for patients, their families and caregivers.” 

The survey reviewed three areas: the main hospital facility, the home care accreditation program, and behavioral health care and human services. Several strengths were highlighted, such as zero findings in behavioral health care and human services, and implementation of best practices in many service lines. Additionally, no widespread or high-risk findings were noted.

Upon the exit brief, the surveyors relayed many positive comments about the facility. 

Several members of the survey team commented on the overall cleanliness of the facility and its significant impact in creating a safe environment for patients. The team   commended the Environmental Services Management staff for their outstanding efforts. 

The survey team commented on the excellent customer service that the Supply Chain Management team provides in the facility. The team highlighted the quality processes that are in place for easy management and distribution of items. 

The Sterile Processing Service received kudos for their processes. The survey team commented that they were impressed with the diligence of OGJVAMC in creating strong processes that incorporate manufacture instructions for use in sterile processing of medical equipment. 

The survey highlighted a best practice in the service of Pharmacy, where pharmacists provide Veterans with prescription counseling prior to the prescription being issued versus after the prescription is issued to ensure the patient knows what is being prescribed and how to properly take the medication. Staff also double check for allergies or changes in health conditions or other medications that might impact taking the prescription. The Joint Commission relayed that they saw this as a best practice, and it positively impacted safety and quality of care for patients.  

Praise was also given to the facility for the implementation of the Lynx system, a computer-based emergency response system that allows employees to request immediate emergency support from VA police; another way the facility prioritizes safety.  

Overall, the facility staff were grateful for the experience. 

“The triennial assessment is always a learning opportunity for our facility and staff,” said Stephanie Ahonen, OGJVAMC chief of quality management. “We appreciate the collaborative nature of The Joint Commission helping us create a safer environment of care for Veterans.”