The Medical Center has been named a Best Performer by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. The AAAHC, which performs assessments a minimum of every three years, is an international accrediting organization in which the Medical Center participates for accreditation.
As part of compliance with AAAHC Standards, an organization is required to conduct internal and external benchmarking. The facility can choose how to accomplish this standard, which can be met with participation in one AAAHC study. However, the Medical Center chose to voluntarily participate in two studies: Safe Injection Practices in Primary Care, and Medication Reconciliation in Primary Care.
Study No. 1: Safe Injection Practices in Primary Care
Safe Injection Practices are the processes health care providers use to prevent the transmission of blood-borne viruses and other microbial pathogens to patients when preparing and administering injectable medications. Despite numerous national guidelines such as the CDC, APIC and WHO, unsafe injection practices continue to occur. More than 700 patients in the U.S. contracted hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), or were infected with bacterial pathogens, between 1998 and 2014 due to unsafe injection practices.
Result: MCOR excelled in all categories of the study.
Study No. 2: Medication Reconciliation in Primary Care
Medication Reconciliation is one of the keys to avoiding adverse drug events. It involves making the most accurate possible list of medications a patient is currently using and comparing it with other existing lists; for example, lists provided by the patient and older lists the facility has on file.
Medications in this study include all prescribed medications, herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications. Recent data indicates medication error is widespread, with adverse drug events accounting for 3.5 million physician offices and 1 million emergency department visits per year.
This study involved 12 primary care organizations. For each of the study’s areas of focus, AAAHC encourages pursuit of 100% compliance with effective medication reconciliation. Not all participants have a “single source” (i.e., one place within a patient’s health record where providers can find the latest medication reconciliation information) and a documented policy for tracking a patient’s current and past medications. Only two-thirds of the participants documented whether or not patients had a designated pharmacy. Only 75 percent of the providers documented if the patient had any known allergies of sensitivities to medications. Additionally, only 89 percent of the study participants reviewed this list with the patient/caregiver and only 25 percent provided a written list to the patient/caregiver.
Result: MCOR complies with all of these indicators. MCOR was noted in the study report as a best performer in many of the study indicators.
An Example for Other Medical Facilities to Follow
“It should be noted that this year is not the first wherein MCOR was designated as a ‘best performer,'” said Brenda Johnson, Risk Management Consultant for the Medical Center. “AAAHC has asked the organization to provide information about its processes, policies and procedures in order for other facilities to improve. I attribute the Medical Center’s great success to Keith Young’s leadership and the willingness of the Board to provide the necessary resources for excellent, safe health care.”