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Friday, September 29, 2006

JCAHO imposters identified in Connecticut

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) is in charge of ensuring that quality standards are adhered to at healthcare facilities across the country.

But how do you know JCAHO is JCAHO?

Always ask for identification – they should have a JCAHO ID badge and a letter addressed to Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas P. Pipicelli, signed by a JCAHO executive, explaining who they are and the purpose of their visit.

If something doesn’t seem right, report it to your supervisor and the Security Department.

Just this week, the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) announced that a Connecticut hospital recently experienced a JCAHO imposter incident.

According to Carrie Brady, Vice President, Quality and Performance Reporting for CHA, several staff members from an unidentified hospital noticed three individuals in business dress (2 women and 1 male) sitting in a hospital lounge writing on clip boards and displaying an identification badge from the Joint Commission.

Staff was surprised to see the Joint Commission in the hospital and asked if they could be of assistance. After their offer was declined, staff went to report JCAHO's presence to the unit manager.

Staff returned with the unit manager a few minutes later but the three individuals had left the lounge. Security was notified and the hospital went into lock down. Shortly thereafter, the fire alarm was pulled, which automatically opens selected egress doors.

Security searched the hospital, but the imposters were not found. Please notify your immediate supervisor immediately if you experience any incident with apparent JCAHO imposters. They should then report the incident to JCAHO and CHA.

At Backus Hospital, JCAHO is scheduled to visit sometime after Jan. 1. Anyone with questions about the upcoming JCAHO visit, or suggestions to improve patient safety at Backus, should call Mary Bylone, RN, Assistant Vice President of Patient Care Services and Patient Safety Officer, at ext. 2771, or Joe Hughes, Director of Quality Improvement, at ext. 2345.

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