MEDDAC Bavaria earns The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval

by Alain M. Polynice
U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria Public Affairs

VILSECK, Germany -- The U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria is pleased to announce it has successfully earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for its certification in Primary Care Medical Home.

The Primary Care Medical Home certification focuses on care coordination, access to care and how effectively a primary care clinician and the interdisciplinary team work in partnership with the patient and family.

The Joint Commission, an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1951, is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. More than 22,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States are accredited or certified by The Joint Commission.

"The Department of Defense willingly participates in The Joint Commission accreditation process," said Col. Mark Swofford, commander of MEDDAC Bavaria. "This process ensures that our health care processes and procedures are reviewed and evaluated by an outside, independent organization. The 'gold seal' of The Joint Commission is an outward sign of the quality of our health care system, and our commitment to excellence."

The three-year accreditation and certification award recognizes MEDDAC Bavaria and all five of its Army health clinics' dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission's standards for health care quality and safety.

"Maintaining Joint Commission accreditation is a team effort, and reflects the hard work of every member of our organization," said Swofford. "It means that our personnel pay attention to detail, think systematically, and strive to improve every day."

To earn and maintain The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval, an organization must undergo an on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three years.

MEDDAC Bavaria underwent a rigorous onsite survey that lasted four days, April 23-26, 2019. During a process that's called patient tracer, The Joint Commission surveyor followed a randomly chosen patient from the beginning of the health appointment all the way to the end. This meant following the patient to the records area, the pharmacy or even the laboratory for tests. As they progressed through the tracer, the surveyor observed how the patient was treated.

As a patient tracer was conducted, the staff had to demonstrate appropriate procedures and show the surveyor they were conducting them in a safe way.

The entire staff worked extremely hard to accomplish their task, demonstrative compliance with over 1,700 elements of performance in The Joint Commission accreditation manuals, Swofford noted.

The next Joint Commission survey for MEDDAC Bavaria will not be for other three years, however the organization plans to push forward.

"Accreditation by The Joint Commission is the 'gold standard' for health care organizations," said Swofford. "This is the same organization that accredits the vast majority of health care organizations in the United States, and their process is extremely rigorous. The Soldiers and Families who rely on MEDDAC Bavaria clinics for their care, should see this as certification by an outside organization that MEDDAC Bavaria offers safe, high quality health care."

The Joint Commission health care standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts, and patients. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help organizations measure, assess and improve performance.

For more information on The Joint Commission visit https://www.jointcommission.org/.

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