Magazine article Drug Topics

Health Systems

Magazine article Drug Topics

Health Systems

Article excerpt

The Joint Commission's on-site survey: Be prepared

The Joint Commission's in-person surveys of hospital pharmacies are rigorous, a hospital executive told an audience at the annual meeting of the American Pharmacists Association in San Diego, Calif., and preparation should be just as exacting.

"We have to be survey-ready at all times," said Melinda Joyce, PharmD, FAPhA, FACF1E, vice president of corporate support services, Commonwealth Health Corporation, Bowling Green, Ky. "Clean and dedutter. Educate: Talk to your staff like a surveyor. Ask them questions. Read and read and read those standards."

According to Joyce, hospitals across the country wait anxiously each morning for word from the Joint Commission's website about which ones will face in-person surveys. Hospitals that are chosen, she said, will face a different experience than in the past.

First impressions count

"The process has changed pretty substantially," Joyce said. "Now the Joint Commission is the eyes and ears of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in order for hospitals to have 'deemed status,"' which allows hospitals to partidpate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Ongoing readiness is crucial, because hospitals will have only a few minutes to prepare for the sudden surveys, Joyce said. …

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