Was NMC’s Joint Commission Accreditation Survey Successful?

Yes, we had a highly successful survey!  At the end of July, NMC underwent a rigorous, unannounced, onsite survey by a team of experts from the Joint Commission, the national organization which accredits more than 4,000 hospitals across the country.  I am pleased to report that NMC continues to be fully accredited and that the survey process highlighted the fine work being done by the NMC team.  It was wonderful to see our physicians, advanced practice providers, staff, volunteers, Board members – and even patients and visitors – have a chance to show experts how we all strive to live our mission of providing exceptional care every day, to every patient. 

The survey process was intense: a team of four surveyors came unexpectedly (though we had a feel for what months they might come) and spent three days inspecting NMC, literally from top to bottom – at the hospital itself as well as satellite locations and employed physician practices.  They review our policies, procedures, employment files, educational files, health records, meeting minutes, and other documentation.  They trace the experiences of specific patients through the entire care process.  They inspect our facility and its life-safety systems.  They quiz staff on safety and protocols and patient care and emergency preparedness.  They talk to our physicians about the provision of evidence-based care and to our Board about governance.  They ask questions of our patients and visitors to ensure what it says in patient records and what we tell them is actually being reflected in the care our community receives. The surveyors go throughout our facilities, into the operating rooms, onto the roof, and even into our ceilings. 

I am very pleased with the results of our survey.  The NMC team earned a strong report with many compliments.  There were fewer areas for improvement compared to the prior survey and significant progress was evident in the areas which had been identified three years ago. I was so pleased our Medical Staff, our nurses, and the rest of our team had opportunities to speak to the wonderful work they do in caring for our community. One exceptional accomplishment within this survey was having no deficiencies noted related to the extensive construction underway at NMC.  Our team has worked incredibly hard around safety and infection control and wayfinding and preserving patient care amidst all of the exciting progress on campus towards an enhanced healing environment. It was wonderful to have that effort recognized within the survey. 

On their website, the Joint Commission explains that it “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.”  That goal aligns with what NMC and our Medical Staff and our community partners work towards every single day.  NMC’s vision calls for us to be “nationally recognized for excellence and value in healthcare as we partner to improve the wellness of our community and become a destination of choice for patients, staff, and providers.”  Joint Commission accreditation is one important example of that effort towards national recognition for excellence and value.  Recently, our team has also received national recognition through the prestigious designations of “Baby Friendly” (celebrating NMC’s and Northwestern OB/GYN’s wonderful approach to welcoming our newest community members) and “Most Wired” (celebrating NMC’s Information Systems and our innovative use of technology throughout the organization to enhance patient care and how we do business).  National recognition is possible – and happens — here at NMC!

I would like to thank each member of NMC’s staff, Medical Staff, volunteers, Board – the entire hospital family – for all they do which results in a successful survey such as this. Their total engagement and dedication really shined through.  I also want to thank all of our patients and our community for entrusting your care to us.  It is an honor to work with you to help improve your health and help enhance your well-being.  Thank you!

— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer