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The medical center employs more than 400 caregivers and is part of Mosaic Life Care, a physician-led healthcare system. While Mosaic Medical Center - Maryville was first accredited by The Joint Commission over 40 years ago, it doesn’t mean they are complacent. Mosaic Medical Center - Maryville places the holistic needs of patients first by providing the right care at the right time and place.


The needs of the patient come first, period,” says Nate Blackford, President of Mosaic Medical Center - Maryville. “I’m a firm believer in the service-profit chain: that happy caregivers lead to happy patients, happy patients lead to business returns and financial performance, which then leads to happy caregivers, and so it continues. We take a very balanced view of this; but at the end of the day, patients come first, period. In every way.”

I’m really proud of the culture of safety that we’ve built over the last 125 years,” says Debbie Hoffman, VP of Patient Services. “We focus on the safety of our patients above all else. For example, when we went through a merger two years ago, we had some problems syncing our EMR system and medication administration processes. We brought it up continuously in meetings and studied it until we figured out exactly which meds were not scanning properly and fixed them. Everybody really pushed hard to get it taken care of.

Staying Patient-Ready

Accredited continuously since around 1950, Mosaic Medical Center - Maryville works to remain ready for a survey at all times. “We used to have a survey readiness team, but now we call them our Patient Readiness Team,” notes Karie Untiedt, Mosaic Medical Center - Maryville’s Regulatory Director. “We got the idea from a Joint Commission publication and we just loved it. Now our entire facility focuses on being ‘patient-ready.’”

The Patient Readiness Team meets monthly to go over Joint Commission standards and review previous reports, looking for opportunities for improvements. The team also performs mock surveys using Joint Commission Focused Standards Assessment (FSA) tool and monthly tracers.

What we’ve consistently tried to do is employ best practices that make sense for us, that fit our culture and approach,” says Blackford. “The Joint Commission certainly has been a support and help, and their tools are beneficial. At the same time, we’re also scouring the industry for best practices.

Viewing the Survey is a Learning Experience

As for the Joint Commission survey experience, “It’s all about the learning,” says Hoffman. “We consider ourselves a learning facility and The Joint Commission helps us be better. We hold accreditation in high regard, so we take survey feedback seriously. We all value their input. Everyone here wants to provide safe, quality care.”

To prepare for a survey, the Mosaic team recommends being prepared and organized at all times. “One thing we do extremely well is keep our documents organized and patient-ready,” Hoffman continues. “We created National Patient Safety Guideline binders where we keep all our documents. We also recommend that organizations do tracers with that documentation ahead of time, to be sure that you follow all the requirements.”

Partnership and Collaboration are Key

While that tactical advice is important, President Blackford focuses more on people’s attitudes ahead of time. “I sent a note out to all the caregivers the week before our survey saying, ‘I know the thought of The Joint Commission can be stressful, but please know that we have a lot of good things to share. While most certainly opportunities for improvement will be identified, we should think of them as such, that they are going to help us do better. Don’t go into this with the mindset that you are being graded or at risk of not being accredited. Just look at it as an opportunity for feedback and growth.’”

And that’s just what happened. “The experience was very collaborative where the surveyors shared best practices, were honest about concerns, and we had a nice dialog,” says Hoffman. “They made it clear that they were here to help and inspire us to follow best practices. We really value their partnership and collaboration, and their commitment to patient safety and quality.”

We consider ourselves a learning facility and The Joint Commission helps us be better. We hold accreditation in high regard, so we take survey feedback seriously. We all value their input. Everyone here wants to provide safe, quality care.