TRMC passes national survey

Published 10:37 pm Friday, September 4, 2009

After hospital physicians took ownership of Troy Regional Medical Center, there’s no contesting they had their obstacles to overcome.

But, after a surprise visit from an accreditation committee, at least one of those obstacles has been eliminated.

“Thursday of last week, we had an unannounced visit from the Joint Commission Surveyors,” said TRMC’s Chief Nursing Officer Jennifer Ventress.

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And, the hospital earned its accreditation mark, an achievement that should put patients at ease.

“In July 2008 we were accredited, but we had some issues we had to fix,” Ventress said. “We put in a very aggressive plan with the medical staff to get back to a full two-year Joint Accreditation Commission.”

Ventress would not say what types of improvements the hospital was recommended to make, but she said there were 14 issues that had to be addressed. This time, there were only four, each of them minor areas the hospital staff has already started to work on.

The hospital officials knew an accreditation review would come, but Ventress said they only anticipated being accredited for one year, which would complete the two-year time span.

“We were accredited at the time, but we were under a one-year umbrella,” Ventress said. “But, they gave us a full two years.”

The Joint Commission is an accrediting body for Centers for Medicare.

Without it, Ventress said the hospital would undergo surveys from CMS, and if the institution failed would not be able to provide Medicare for patients.

Karen Herring, marketing director for TRMC, said the Joint Commission is something the hospital voluntarily has done to hold themselves to a higher standard.

“They have a very high standard,” Herring said. “The surveyor told us he’d never been in a hospital with so much physician commitment.”

Ventress said in the survey, every aspect of the hospital is viewed except finances.

Ventress said the accreditation achievement only comes from a hard-working staff.

“We appreciate the hard work and the level of commitment from the hospital staff,” Ventress said. “It takes everybody working together to accomplish this task. We had quite a road to climb.”