Excellence: A Journey, not a Destination

By Matt Swanson, Director of Operations, BS, MLS(ASCP), CLSSBB

January 08, 2021

This article follows the four-part series on preparedness for a Joint Commission Survey. All four articles in the series can be accessed here.

Our blog series on Joint Commission Surveys gave those new to Surveys a brief introduction to the topic. A series of blog articles, of course, can never provide the level of detail any organization would need to become and remain prepared for a Survey. Volumes are written on the topic, and the number of resources available is huge.

A Journey, not a Destination

Survey Preparedness is more akin to a long journey than it is to a destination. Realities in your institution will change – mergers, acquisitions, new departments, new staff, new lines of service, right-sizing – oh, and a pandemic – will all have an impact on your readiness. Add to that the fact that accreditation standards are not static – not carved in stone – and you have a pretty dynamic environment. Standards change to meet evolving challenges and push us all towards excellence.

In this environment, organizations need to be in the constant mode of continuing to prepare – no organization is ever “there”. Believing that your institution has “arrived” is a dangerous step, especially if it leads to a sense of complacency or a letting down of your guard.    

Meeting Standards vs Aspiring to Excellence

Wise organizations will have a department or team dedicated to zero defects. Survey Preparedness is one goal, of course – no one likes to receive a deficiency. But the goal for that team and any organization must be to push beyond the thinking that “we have to pass!”, and get to the mind frame of continuous improvement. Is your organization giving the absolute best care to all patients at all times?

If we are honest with ourselves, the answer here is always a “no”. We might meet Standards, but do we excel? Yes, of course, meet the standards that apply – but don’t stop. Keep pushing.

Reaching Out, Staying Up-to-Date

As mentioned above, there are resources available to assist. The Joint Commission and Joint Commission Resources (JCR) have excellent content1,2,3. If you need some assistance, check out their advisory services4.

StaffReady remains committed to excellence, and supports those healthcare organizations seeking to provide excellent care. To that end, StaffReady is proud to sponsor a webinar on January 13, 2021, at 10 am (Pacific) / 1 pm (Eastern), entitled “Your Joint Commission Survey During the Pandemic: What Has Changed?". The webinar is complimentary. To register, navigate to https://staffready.com/ and then click on the banner at the top of the page.

StaffReady healthcare software provides cloud-based solutions that automate staff scheduling, competency assessment, and document control for healthcare organizations. StaffReady is Clinical Workforce Management Software. Let us help you excel.

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1.) https://www.jointcommission.org/

2.) https://www.jcrinc.com/

3.) https://www.jcrinc.com/products-and-services/education/

4.) https://www.jcrinc.com/products-and-services/advisory-services/

Matt Swanson, Director of Operations, BS, MLS(ASCP), CLSSBB

Matt Swanson is the Director of Operations at StaffReady. He came to StaffReady with 29 years of experience in the clinical laboratory, with roles varying from Bench Tech to Operations Management to Consultant to Business Intelligence Analyst.  He became a Certified Lean Six-Sigma Black Belt in 2017. Find Matt on LinkedIn.