By Marcy SanchezFebruary 11, 2020
LANDSTUHL, Germany - Landstuhl Regional Medical Center upheld The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation following a recent survey which reflect LRMC's commitment to TJC's standards and elements of performance, the same standards and elements used to survey civilian healthcare facilities.
During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with hospital and behavior health care standards which altogether encompassed 516 standards, 2,511 elements of performance at seven separate locations across three countries.
"The Gold Seal of Approval is simply us maintaining our accreditation," said Maj. Elizabeth Jauregui, Joint Commission readiness officer. "This accreditation shows all of our staff, beneficiaries, and visitors that we hold the same high-quality standards as other hospitals across the United States and elsewhere."
According to Jauregui, 20 different strategies were implemented across the organization leading up to the survey. Interactive efforts, from lunchtime trivia to escape rooms, helped educate staff members and raise awareness of the organization's own policies and procedures.
"It was truly a team effort to prepare the organization across every level of staff," said Jauregui. "We didn't earn the goal seal, we've maintained the gold seal for many years. (The survey) was not something new, it just reaffirmed our commitment to quality and safety."
While the survey does leave hospital staff with room to improve on low to moderate-risk findings, it also noted that there were no high-risk or widespread findings across the organization. Meaning, at no point was any patient put at significant risk due to infractions found during the survey.
"(The results) mean our staff has been doing everything correctly but we could make minor improvements to our documentation process," said Jauregui.
According to Jauregui, the gold seal reaffirms LRMC's commitment to quality and safety while providing a renewed focus on process improvement efforts by using the survey feedback to make LRMC even safer for patients.
In addition to LRMC's accreditation, various clinics at LRMC and across Europe were also surveyed for recertification as primary care medical homes. Those include LRMC's Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, and Pediatrics Clinics, as well as the Army Health Clinics in Wiesbaden, Baumholder, Kaiserslautern, in Germany. LRMC Army Health Clinics in Belgium -- Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) Healthcare Facility located near Mons and Brussels Army Health Clinic located just outside the Brussels-Capital Region - and the clinic in Vicenza, Italy were also surveyed and re-accredited.
Standards focus on important patient, individual, or resident care and organization functions that are essential to providing safe, high-quality care.
"The survey results are a testament to the dedication and commitment of the Soldiers, Airmen, civilians, contractors and local nationals to the quality of care we deliver at LRMC and the steps we take toward providing a safe health care environment for our patients," said Col. Michael Weber, hospital commander. "The survey also reveals a true sense of promise to our center of gravity: quality and safety."
According to Mark Pelletier, a registered nurse and chief operating officer for Accreditation and Certification Operations and chief nursing officer with The Joint Commission, his organization surveys health care facilities to protect the public by identifying deficiencies in care and working with those organizations to correct them as quickly and sustainably as possible.
"We commend Landstuhl Regional Medical Center for its continuous quality improvement efforts in patient safety and quality of care," Pelletier said.
LRMC is the only American military medical center overseas and serves as the Role 4 theater hospital for four different combatant commands. With roughly 205,000 beneficiaries, LRMC's primary mission is to ensure the medical readiness of the force, while also training, preparing and deploying military medical providers for forward theater operations.