Pathfinder medics prove readiness in accreditation inspection

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jason W. Cochran
  • 501CSW/PA

Living in the modern world requires trust, trust that groceries will be safe to eat, trust that motorists will follow the rules of the road and trust that medical care will be safe and competent.

The 422d Medical Squadron proved that not only do they meet these expectations, but after a thorough inspection from The Joint Commission exceeded them by a considerable amount.

“TJC is a national organization for both inpatient and outpatient hospitals,” said Lt. Col. Debra Sims, 422d MDS commander. “What they do is verify our ability to deliver safe patient care.”

The manner in which TJC determines an organization’s safety is through an accreditation inspection.

“An accreditation inspection is when a subject matter expert or team of experts visit a healthcare organization and examine every aspect of compliance with their requirements,” said Emily Brown, 422d MDS chief of clinical quality, patient safety and risk management. “Their standards include a huge range of requirements including facility management, emergency preparedness, staff training, record keeping, infection control, medication management [as well as] requirements pertaining to improving quality of care.”

These inspections are designed to find areas of non-compliance, called findings, said Brown. Most organizations similar to the 422d MDS would expect a minimum of 6-10 findings during a TJC inspection.
“Out of 1000 possible, we had only one finding in the 422d MDS,” said Brown. “I don’t know how many times this has ever happened before but I’m only aware of one other organization having this result and it was years ago.”

This result was made possible by making safety a part of the 422d MDS’s DNA, said Sims. The etching of this ethos into the 422d MDS gives them the ability to get military members to a deployable state, keep them there and do so with a global perspective.

“We do this in part by ensuring that policy is clear and concise, and that it is not a duplicate of Air Force Instructions,” said Sims. “These operational instructions, unique to RAF Croughton allow us to best use our limited and talented manpower, that resource that drives us, to its fullest.”

This speaks to the 422d MDS’s ability to provide safe and effective treatment, said Brown. But, this doesn’t mean that they will stop doing their best.

“This score shows that we can, will and have delivered the best and safest healthcare to RAF Croughton,” said Sims. “We will do it today and keep doing it everyday.”