Super Joint Commission Survey Successes

Earning high marks in a rigorous assessment in 2017 by The Joint Commission, NorthBay Healthcare leaders celebrated success after multiple departments spent weeks under review by the nation's most respected hospital evaluator.

A four-day hospital survey had no sooner concluded on Sept. 15, when a fresh set of surveyors arrived Sept. 19 for a three-day survey of the laboratories.

Joint Commission Logo

“It was crazy around here, but it was a calm sort of crazy,” said Heather Resseger, director of Inpatient Quality, Accreditation and Licensure.

Added Cody Zamora, program manager for Accreditation and Licensure, “We've had great teamwork and collaboration. We were so prepared going into it.”

“There's been a tremendous effort by staff, all managers, all directors, and the support of our physician team has been phenomenal,” said Nicole Brocato, vice president, Operations and Chief Quality Control Officer. “Of course that doesn't mean we can relax. This is about being at this level every day: Ever-ready.”

In addition to the hospital, medical offices that function under the hospital license were also surveyed. Health at Home and Hospice received only minor findings that would be easily remedied.

NorthBay Cancer Center earned rave reviews, and one surveyor asked for information that could be used as best practice examples for other hospitals.

The lab survey concluded on Sept. 20, with one of the surveyors noting, “It was a privilege to be able to survey a healthcare system of this caliber.”

It was NorthBay Healthcare's first survey since The Joint Commission moved to a new SAFER (Survey Analysis For Evaluating Risk) matrix. It's a grid that plots risks by scope and likeliness to harm a patient, staff or visitor.

Surveyors repeatedly commented on the strong collaborative culture and physician leadership at NorthBay, noted Brocato.

Chief Medical Officer Seth Kaufman, M.D., agreed. “Over and over again the surveyors commented on the supportive culture of our organization,” he said. “They stated that we are much farther along than others including larger academic institutions in engaging our physicians and creating a culture of patient safety and quality.”

“When surveyors walk through the door, they don't expect to be hit with the NorthBay Way,” observed President and CEO B. Konard Jones. “But once we unleash that special something that we have, they somehow become part of the fabric of who we are. They've told us they have not seen an organization that's as open and honest with communication and teamwork.”