Tri-City Medical Center Working to Improve JCAHO Rating
During a meeting of the Tri-City Hospital District's board of directors last week, Tri-City Medical Center President and CEO Dr. Arthur Gonzalez said the hospital is "well on its way" to implementing improvements suggested by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the state Department of Health Services, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. After visiting the hospital in October, JCAHO evaluators gave the hospital a "conditional accreditation" rating, citing an "overcrowded" emergency room, lack of an assigned infection-control official, "inadequate recording" of medication disposal and other administrative problems. The hospital scored a 78 out of a possible 100, putting it in the bottom 1% of hospitals the commission rated last year. In a report released this month, the DHS noted "similar problems." Gonzalez took issue with the 1% figure, pointing out that 20% of hospitals nationwide did not request an accreditation survey "probably because they feared they wouldn't be accredited." He said the hospital has made improvements since being placed on the conditional accreditation, such as hiring a full-time infection-control officer. He added that the hospital would be able to achieve a higher score by the time JCAHO returns in August or September. Board Chair RoseMarie Reno added, "I think all these concerns that were pointed out are fixable. ... I'm sure we will be back up there with a higher accreditation rating when JCAHO returns and sees what we have done." But board member Kathleen Sterling said, "I've had several calls from constituents regarding the bonuses we gave our administrators and they are also concerned about the quality of care" at the hospital. She moved to rescind the $43,460 bonus the board gave Gonzalez in December, but her motion was not seconded (Berhman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.