By Lori Newman, Brooke Army Medical Center Public AffairsSeptember 13, 2018
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Brooke Army Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. This accreditation is a reflection of the organization's commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.
The Joint Commission accredited BAMC under two standards: the hospital standard and the behavioral health standard. Additionally, BAMC attained its first certification for Primary Care Medical Home by TJC. The three-year accreditation and certification award recognizes BAMC's dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission's standards for health care quality and safety.
"The survey team was unanimous and profuse in their compliments on the teamwork, skill, compassion, professionalism and passion to learn exhibited by all of our staff members," said BAMC Commanding General Brig. Gen. George Appenzeller.
BAMC facilities underwent the rigorous unannounced on-site survey in June 2018. A team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated the hospital and the outlying clinics for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.
TJC's hospital standards address important functions relating to the care of patients and the management of hospitals. The standards are developed in consultation with health care experts, providers, measurement experts and patients.
"The Department of Defense requires all military treatment facilities to maintain a civilian accreditation," said Air Force Col. Nicola Choate, deputy to the commander for Quality and Safety.
"Accreditation is a periodic external evaluation by recognized experts that provides impartial evidence of the quality of care, treatment or services delivered to the individuals we serve."
The Primary Care Medical Home certification focuses on care coordination, access to care and how effectively a primary care clinician and the interdisciplinary team work in partnership with the patient and family.
"We did exceptionally well," said Lori Barteau, chief of the Department of Quality Services. "We earned a three-year accreditation and certification and we had very few findings."
The majority of the findings were of a low limited risk and not related to patient care. The surveyors also acknowledged the organization for many "best practices," which they observed during the five day survey.
The survey team encouraged BAMC leadership to submit five programs to the Joint Commission Leading Practice Library. The Leading Practice Library provides a resource for organizations to leverage BAMC's recognized efforts for consideration and adoption to their own services.
"One of those identified best practices was the point-of-use processing of reusable instruments," Barteau said. "Infection prevention and control practices are one of the most common findings globally for TJC."
The survey team also praised the Residential Treatment Facility staff for their integrated approach to treatment, which includes patient education, individual and group psychotherapy, recreational and occupational therapy and functional restoration.
Barteau credited the entire staff for their compassion and dedication.
"The entire staff worked very hard to put programs into place, to sustain those programs and to ensure that not only did they meet The Joint Commission standards, they exceeded them," she said.
"I am very proud of what our entire team has accomplished over the past months to prepare for this survey. The outstanding results exemplify the care, compassion, and dedication of the BAMC family to all of those we serve," Appenzeller said.
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.