Brooke Army Medical Center earned a vote of confidence after a two-day Joint Commission (JC) survey aimed at assisting BAMC in improving its surgical support services.

At the exit briefing May 25, the surveyor commended the surgical and sterile processing teams for actions taken and noted several potential "best practices," with regards to the recently implemented changes, that the JC would like to review and potentially share on a national level. BAMC remains dedicated to safe quality care and diligently focuses on a goal of zero defects.

"We have made progress but we still have work to do to return to normal operations and to continue our patient care and training readiness commitment to our military and San Antonio," said Brig. Gen. Jeff Johnson, BAMC commander.

"We did exceptionally well," said Air Force Col. Kimberly Pietszak, deputy to the commander for quality and safety. "The surveyor was impressed with our stringent quality control process and our staff's dedication and competence."

The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. BAMC received a JC Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation in 2015. This three-year accreditation award recognizes BAMC's dedication to continuous compliance with TJC's standards for health care quality and safety.

"We always remain in close contact with the Joint Commission and welcomed this no-notice TJC survey of our surgical support processes." Pietszak said. "This is an opportunity for us to learn and grow.

"Not all civilian hospitals are accredited so it sets a standard for the DoD that we are transparent and we care about the quality and safety of the care we provide enough that we welcome consultants to come into this organization and tell us how we're doing," she added.

BAMC leaders continue to take a number of steps to ensure high quality surgical care for patients. An initial step in mid-April was to temporarily reduce the number of elective surgical procedures while leaders actively evaluated staffing, equipment, space and processes to ensure the facility is ready to meet the surgical demand. Several military and civilian experts from outside the organization, to include two teams from the Army Medical Command, came in to help identify improvements on all aspects of surgical care.