Survey leader calls results an "extraordinary achievement"
Winthrop-University Hospital has, once again, been recognized by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) for providing superior care.
Barbara Kohart-Kleine congratulates participants after the JCAHO surveyors concluded the survey.
An independent organization that sets the standards by which healthcare quality is measured in America and around the world, the Joint Commission recently completed its latest Winthrop survey, and according to the physician leader of the survey team, the Hospital's results were an "extraordinary achievement."
Observing first hand, the surveyors examined 250 areas, and in their report to the Joint Commission, they found no recommendations for improvement.
"The compassion, professionalism and expertise of our medical staff, nursing staff and all ancillary and support personnel shone brightly throughout the survey," said Daniel P. Walsh, Winthrop's President and CEO. "The surveyors observed, first-hand, the excellence in our quality care."
New approach is challenging
Winthrop's 2004 survey was particularly challenging because the approach to the assessment -- the Tracer Methodology -- was completely new.
With Tracer Methodology, the surveyors select -- completely at random -- current inpatients who have received multiple or complex services. Using the patients' records as road maps, they retrace the course of the individuals' treatment, assessing and evaluating the institution's compliance with the Joint Commission's high standards for delivering safe, quality healthcare.
In addition to observing activities, interviewing physicians and staff and examining documents for accuracy, comprehensiveness and timeliness, the survey team focuses on certain areas of care, including: protection of patients' rights, how patients are assessed for care as their conditions change, how the hospital provides individualized care to meet each patient's needs, infection control and medication use.
Perhaps, most important, the surveyors speak directly to patients about their care. "Our patients had no complaints," reported Mr. Walsh. "In fact the surveyors noted that they were 'lavish in their praise' and 'laudatory' of all the staff regarding the care they received."
Patrick K. Long, Chairman of Winthrop's Board, said: "Accreditation helps support improvement in the quality of the healthcare system overall. We seek Joint Commission accreditation as a means to enhance our performance.
"The surveyors were very impressed by the collective efforts of our doctors and staff, especially given the size and complexity of the Hospital."
In his final message to the Hospital's staff, the leader of the survey team said: "This is a Class A organization, and it's reflected in our report."