Hugh Renier, M.D. - Vice President, Medical Affairs
St. Mary’s Medical Center
We view Joint Commission accreditation as the equivalent of the Good Housekeeping “Seal of Approval” for hospitals. The Joint Commission sets higher standards than the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Conditions of Participation. CMS provides a baseline, but Joint Commission accreditation goes far beyond the CoPs in addressing the delivery of safe, quality patient care.
The consultative nature of The Joint Commission survey helps us improve care. Following the physician surveyor allows me to see our hospital through another physician’s eyes, and particularly through the eyes of one who has evaluated many other hospitals. Surveyors do a great job educating us on best practices that can help us improve.
The standards have led us to improve quality. For example, a root cause analysis of a sentinel event related to anticoagulation helped us to see system issues that needed redesign. As a result, we have totally overhauled how we manage anticoagulation in our hospitals and clinics. Today, St. Mary’s is one of the model hospitals for Minnesota, leading change for anticoagulant management.