Joint Commission prep invokes wizards (and fun) at IU Health Arnett

IU Health Arnett team members are getting creative with their preparation for The Joint Commission’s survey, drawing on the characters and plot lines of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling for a little inspiration (and fun.) Take a look at how they’re gearing up for success, and instilling a little “Arnett magic” into the mix.

Are you prepared for The Joint Commission survey? The wizarding world of Periop is getting prepared for the fall survey. IU Health Arnett Hospital Periop Manager Sarah Norkus is sending her team on a quest for The Joint Commission cup.

Team members have been sorted into their respective houses: Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. They are ready for their quidditch matches. For eight weeks each match includes a question that could be asked by The Joint Commission. The questions are hidden. There is even a golden snitch for bonus points. It is like an Easter egg hunt.

Team members don’t necessarily know each other due to the different areas they cover and different shifts worked. Many of the team members have never been through the survey process. The houses were encouraged to set up email groups to work together on finding and answering clues.

Norkus reported that she has been overcome by the response and how excited the teams are getting for each quest.

  • Competing house clues have been held hostage.
  • Shift leaders are getting questioned by staff or observed closely to see where the next clue might be hidden.
  • Every time Norkus leaves her office with glitter on her hands or face, staff thinks she is preparing to hide the golden snitch, and people follow her.

Team members may use any resources at their disposal to answer the questions, including reaching out to other departments and referring to The Joint Commission website. Norkus appreciates that the teams are focusing on the why behind the questions and are looking at things more critically. She often receives answers with the email chain showing the number of other staff members reached.

Norkus has noticed a lot more self-correction by staff in following hospital policies, best practices and being mindful of resources since the game began. “I added a half-point bonus for every expired product found. More than 900 items were submitted in less than 36 hours.” The take-away is improved performance: stock is rotated, not over-ordering, checklist and an owner of that checklist has been assigned.  

Norkus is adding another element to the game—a shadowing opportunity to help team members get to know each other better and their job duties. Bonus points will be awarded for each hour of shadowing.  

Is it working? Team members have asked if the game can continue. Rumor has it the Outpatient Surgery Center team may have a Game of Thrones happening.

About The Joint Commission

Patients should always experience the safest, highest quality, best-value healthcare we can provide. Preparing for a Joint Commission survey can be a challenging process for any healthcare provider. At a minimum, a hospital must be completely familiar with the current standards; examine current processes, policies and procedures relative to the standards; and prepare to improve any areas that are not currently in compliance. The hospital must be in compliance with the standards for at least four months prior to the initial survey. The hospital also should be in compliance with applicable standards during the entire period of accreditation, which means that surveyors will look for a full three years of implementation for several standards-related issues.

The Joint Commission is a U.S.-based nonprofit tax-exempt 501 organization that accredits more than 21,000 US healthcare organizations and programs. The international branch accredits medical services from around the world. A majority of U.S. states accreditation as a condition of licensure for the receipt of Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements.