This is one of those times. It’s Sunday at 9:00 pm and I’m trying to finish enough blogs to post for the week. I’ve done a blog on customer service, I’ve done a blog on the flu, I’ve done a blog (depressing) on health care payment reform and now I’m stuck. Sometimes I find that if I begin typing something will come out in the end….
We are in the window of time for a visit from TJC better known as The Joint Commission. TJC is an accrediting body that verifies hospitals, and other health care providers, are doing all the things they should be doing to keep patients safe and to provide quality services.
TJC used to walk into hospitals and look at policy and procedure manuals and then verify staff were following hospital policy. That approach worked but it didn’t get at the heart of what hospitals really do – care for patients.
TJC now uses “Tracers” which is a process of mapping the care of a patient through the entire experience from admission to discharge and beyond. During the tracer, surveyors will ask questions of staff who have interacted with a particular patient and they will verify they are doing everything they should to provide appropriate care.
System tracers “trace” the process of how a hospital is designed to provide safety and quality care for their patients. These system tracers might include infection control, medication management and the environment of care.
Several GVMH staff members, including myself, have been performing “mock” surveys over the past couple of weeks to help prepare staff for the upcoming TJC visit and to identify opportunities for us to improve processes. If you are lucky, or unlucky, enough to participate in a “mock” tracer you should take advantage of it. Don’t be afraid to screw up, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The “mock” tracers are an opportunity for you to learn – take advantage of it, I’d rather you learn with me than learn with a real TJC surveyor.
Just like that, a blog is born!