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OSH celebrates successful survey from The Joint Commission

Thursday, February 01, 2018

After years of planning and preparation, Oregon State Hospital passed The Joint Commission’s survey with flying colors – despite increased survey scrutiny.

“I cannot express how proud I am of the Oregon State Hospital team,” said Interim Administrator John Swanson. “This survey went better than anyone could have imagined, and it’s all due to the incredible and dedicated staff we have here.”

The Joint Commission is one of several accreditation bodies for hospitals and other health care facilities. Every three years, the commission sends a team of surveyors to hospitals to speak to patients and staff, visit each living unit at least once, and examine all other areas and functions of the facility – including the physical space and patient-care documentation.

In January, a team of seven surveyors found only 27 areas – out of thousands of requirements – that needed improvement in hospital standards. The hospital has since fixed most of the deficiencies, which were primarily low risk and isolated. Surveyors said that organizations as large as OSH typically have 40 or more findings.

James “Doc” Campbell, the OSH director of Standards & Compliance, said the survey results were especially impressive considering the commission’s new “See one, cite one” approach.

This means the commission is now more apt to give a citation for noncompliance rather than a recommendation for improvement – which had been its practice in years past.

Despite the tougher standards, the commission still gave OSH a glowing report. During their time on the Salem and Junction City campuses, the surveyors applauded the hospital’s data and process improvement work, its emergency management system, and staff’s dedication to patient care and treatment plans.

One surveyor said OSH’s ligature mitigation plan does “a better job reducing ligature risk than any psychiatric hospital I have surveyed,” and another stated OSH is among the “top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation for environment of care and life-safety issues.” Surveyors added, “This is a report to celebrate; this is a testament to the culture here.”

Since the surveyors left, OSH has hosted a handful of events to celebrate the successful report. For Swanson, the survey confirms that all the work everyone does to keep patients safe is necessary and worthwhile.

“While we continue to strive to be the best hospital we can be, this is an opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come,” he said.

James “Doc” Campbell, director of OSH Standards & Compliance, celebrates the successful survey with staff on the Salem campus.

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