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COMPANY
To exceed the expectations of The Joint Commission

CHALLENGE
SSM collaborates with Tech Electronics to create the proper tools for compliance with The Joint Commission

SOLUTION
SSM collaborates with Tech Electronics to create the proper tools for compliance with The Joint Commission

RESULTS
SSM St. Clare Health Center receives a perfect score from The Joint Commission for exceeding Environment of Care standards.


 

BACKGROUND
SSM St. Clare Health Center in Fenton, Missouri, opened its doors March 30, 2009, and became the first full-service hospital built in St. Louis County in 35 years. The SSM Health Care – St. Louis network of seven hospitals has become a leader in healthcare services in the region and is consistently recognized by The Joint Commission for its record in accreditation.

Dedicated to providing safe, high-quality health care and its commitment to continually work to improve patient care, SSM St. Clare Health Center requested accreditation from The Joint Commission to take its organization to the next level of patient care and safety.

As an organization with a total of 180 patient beds, SSM St. Clare Health Center keeps patient safety top of mind. Ongoing readiness in the life safety and environment of care realm is the team’s main focus each and every day to ensure compliance measures are met.

CUSTOMIZED SOLUTIONS FOR COMPLEX STANDARDS
To develop the customized paperwork needed for the Environment of Care Surveyor, SSM St. Clare Health Center enlisted solutions-based system integrator, Tech Electronics, for its extensive experience in implementing security, fire, and other life safety systems for health care organizations.

Part of the evaluation includes familiarizing the surveyor with the entire layout of the building and its fire safety features. SSM St. Clare turned to Tech Electronics to help manage many aspects of required testing because it integrated a NOTIFIER® Fire Alarm System for the entire 600,000 square foot facility.

What began as routine quarterly visits to inspect and maintain the facility’s state-of-the-art intelligent fire alarm system grew into a proactive and collaborative effort. SSM St. Clare Health Center and Tech Electronics met every couple of months for nearly two years to ensure the paperwork would meet The Joint Commission requirements for ongoing readiness in life safety and environment of care.

“Our goal is to provide thorough documentation for hospitals to use during The Joint Commission visit,” said Shari Gentsch, Healthcare Account Manager for Tech Electronics. “This includes gaining an understanding of what exactly transpires in a survey.”

Strict guidelines must be followed when preparing documentation for The Joint Commission survey. Therefore, the team at SSM St. Clare Health Center conducted mock on-site surveys with Tech Electronics to familiarize the company with the process.

Additionally, The Joint Commission expects detailed inventory of all fire and life safety equipment. SSM St. Clare Health Center realized the importance of collaborating with Tech Electronics because the company designed and developed the fire alarm system for the hospital.

“We truly collaborated to take a proactive, safety-oriented approach when preparing for the survey,” said Erik Enderling, Plant Operations Team Leader for SSM St. Clare Health Center. “The entire survey process was streamlined because we involved Tech Electronics from the start.”


A PERFECT SCORE IN PATIENT PROTECTION

The surveyor from The Joint Commission was extremely impressed with the quality and detail of the paperwork compiled by Tech Electronics and the team at SSM St. Clare Health Center.  The preparation directly attributed to the health center receiving a perfect score on its on-site survey.

Developing a process to meet continuously ongoing readiness in the life safety and Environment of care realm is key to ensuring high scores from The Joint Commission.  The regulatory standards focus on how well an organization documents the maintenance, testing and inspection activities to ensure that the facility is providing a safe environment for patients, visitors, and caregivers.

Today, approximately 82 percent of the nation’s hospitals are accredited by The Joint Commission, a leader in setting standards for health care organizations, making it one of the most reliable sources of advancing healthcare safety.

“Tech Electronics is a committed partner to SSM as a trusted fire alarm expert when it comes to inspection testing, monitoring, and maintenance of the fire alarm system,” added Enderling. “Tech worked with us to develop the correct documentation format and, as a result, allowed SSM St. Clare Health Center to present a positive tone for a successful survey.”


CONCLUSION

The combined efforts of SSM St. Clare Health Center and Tech Electronics resulted in a perfect score from The Joint Commission, making SSM St. Clare Health Center a leader in regulatory compliance within the Health Care Industry.

 

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