The Joint Commission Survey From a Hospital COO’s Perspective

Recently, I had a chance to sit down with a couple of Chief Operating Officers (COOs) from hospital clients who use the iRIScope system from Mobile Aspects. The system was developed to help hospitals improve patient safety and documentation around flexible endoscope usage. According to the COOs, this has become a hot topic due to various reports in the media about the difficulty in cleaning these scopes effectively.

The Joint Commission (TJC) has also taken a keen interest in the scope-cleaning processes during their audits at hospitals around the country. As the COO of a hospital is often tasked with ensuring a successful TJC survey, we thought their point of view would be helpful.

Here were some of the major findings from our recent sit-down with two COOs from large academic medical centers:

  1. At the end of the day, TJC has the same mission at hospitals – to help deliver patient care safely, effectively, and in an efficient manner. During their audits, they are looking for hospitals to do research, set high standards and show documentation of how they meet those high standards. Who can argue with that?
  2. The COO who is most successful is the one with great relationships with her/his staff. That relationship is built on trust, which is built up over time. The staff brings to the COO issues and thoughts that could be of concern during TJC’s visit. They are discussed and thought through well ahead of time. Trust is the factor that allows this discussion to be opened.
  3. Both COOs I talked too had never seen such focus on the scope reprocessing and usage life cycle in their long career’s before. They were so pleased that their clinical teams were well ahead of the game, thanks in part to their adoption of iRIScope. They had researched the issues with scopes, set their own guidelines, and implemented technologies, best practices and processes to help staff meet the set guidelines. The diligence and care by their teams were praised by TJC, and in turn by the COOs.