Published on March 28th, 2016 | by The Kitsap Scene


Here’s the Scoop – Naval Hospital Bremerton holds Ice Cream Social for successful Joint Commission/Medical Inspection General inspections

By Douglas Stutz
Naval Hospital Bremerton

Along with the Joint Commission survey and Medical IG inspection on March 7-10, 2016, NHB and Branch Health Clinic (BHC) Bangor, BHC Everett and BHC Puget Sound Naval Shipyard also recently hosted successive, favorable visits from the Procurement Performance Management Assessment Program and Radiation Health Program Audit group.

“We have, as a team, just successfully navigated through an incredible series of extremely rigorous inspections over the last three to four week period, which were all extremely successful. Surveyors and inspectors from all of the visiting survey teams all commented about the exceptional professionalism and dedication of the staff here. Thank you for your herculean efforts in preparation for these series of inspections! I am very proud to be part of this team,” said Capt. David Weiss, NHB Commanding Officer, noting that the Joint Commission surveyors found no significant problems with such major areas as leadership, credentialing, administrative, emergency management, and provision of high quality care.

There were several ‘Bravo Zulu,’ or Well Done acknowledgements that went to a number of NHB teams, programs and staff, such as the Accounting Team, Budget Team, Civilian Personnel Management Program maintained by Mr. Michael Mitchusson, Ms. Dannelle Bessert, and Ms. Ronda Jensen; Dental Practice Management with Lt. Cmdr. Erin Zizak; Independent Duty Corpsman Program with Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Kevin Boyce, Chief Hospital Corpsmen Mark Sizemore and Geoffrey Hunley; Operational Forces Medical Liaison Services Program with Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Ethan Bilderback; Antiterrorism Program with Mr. Brian Bodaly; Bachelor Enlisted Quarters Management with Chief Master-at-Arms Michael Haberstumpf; Good Order and Discipline Program with Mr. Peter Medina; Health Promotion and Wellness/ShipShape Program with HM2 Michael Seymour; Navy Performance Evaluation System Yeoman 2nd Class Ashli Defraties; the Uniformed Business Office Team; and Environmental Programs with Mr. Ramon Calantas.

For Defraties, there was some initial nerve-wracking minutes having ‘her’ Navy Performance Evaluation System program scrutinized, but her worries were all for naught.

“I did get nervous! Having a bunch of questions asked by the Med IG was just their way of finding out what our program is all about. They wanted to know, ‘what is this,’ and ‘why is this,’ and ‘where are these.’ I just opened my files and knew everything there was in the proper place. I do my job to the best of my abilities, in a timely manner. When anyone does that, whatever program we’re working on takes care of itself,” said Defraties, a Temple, Texas native.

The Navy Performance Evaluation System as a repository of Sailor evaluations and officer fitness reports, central to the Navy’s advancement process and administratively important to career advancement. Defraties attests that maintaining the system is a time consuming duty.

“The most difficult part of handling the system is finding enough hours to do everything, along with everything else that required,” Defraties said, noting that the most gratifying aspect for her is when people come to her when they are searching for a long lost evaluation and she’s able to track it down for them. The end result is always a ‘big old thanks.’

The ice cream social was the command way of giving staff a ‘big old thanks.’

Capt. Steven Kewish, Director for Medical Services explained that holding the Ice Cream Social was a perfect way for every directorate head to personally thank staff members for all their hard work, one scoop or two at a time.

“This was a great idea by the commanding officer. We ordered enough to be able to share not only with the majority of our staff, but with our night crews also,” said Kewish.

The entire purpose of the Joint Commission and Med IG inspections was to evaluate the compliance of Naval Hospital Bremerton and branch health clinics with nationally established Joint Commission and Navy standards. The results then determine whether, and the conditions under which, accreditation should be awarded to Naval Hospital Bremerton.

According to Cmdr. Annie Case, Quality Management Department Head, what made the visits notable was noticing that all staff members continued to do their daily duties at the same high standard as always and not getting overwhelmed being in the spotlight.

“What made both the Joint Commission and Med IG inspections a success was the commitment and dedication by all staff to go the distance to ensure all programs of care were ready for the surveys,” Case said.

By continuing to be an accredited organization, NHB enhances community confidence, stimulates the organization’s quality improvement efforts, aids in professional staff recruitment, provides a report card for the public, offers an objective evaluation of the organization’s performance, and provides a staff education tool.

“In the first four hours of the inspection, I had the head of the inspection team come in and comment on what a professional, courteous, talented staff we had. She said that never happens. That comment is a testament to the quality of people we have at NHB,” said Command Master Chief Randy Pruitt.

There is a difference between the Joint Commission and Medical IG survey teams, although their focus can and does overlap at times.

The Joint Commission Survey takes place every three years and is a hospital accreditation carried out by a civilian organization based on demonstrated high standards of patient safety and quality. Joint Commission standards deal with organizational quality of care issues and the safety of the environment in which care is provided. The surveyors evaluated specific NHB’s compliance with established standards and identified strengths and weaknesses. The overall goal was not only to find problems, but also to provide education and consultation so health care organizations could improve.

The Medical Inspector General (Med IG) inspection also take place approximately every three years to assess a command’s effectiveness, efficiency, readiness, capability, and quality of healthcare services in accordance with Secretary of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) directives and instructions. Med IG also assesses interoperability, integration and collaboration with Department of Defense, other federal government, and civilian organizations.

The Joint Commission accredits nearly 16,000 health care organizations in the United States and many other countries. By asking for accreditation, Naval Hospital Bremerton agreed to be measured against national standards set by health care professionals. An accredited organization substantially complies with Joint Commission standards and continuously makes efforts to improve the care and service it provides.

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The Kitsap Scene is an online news magazine covering everything in Kitsap County.

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