Accreditation

Tracers, Universal Protocol focus in survey

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, November 1, 2007

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Patient tracers have become a primary tool for surveyors during unannounced surveys, making the use of mock tracers even more vital for survey coordinators like Mary Doerner, MSN, RN, CPAN, CAPA, the education and Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO) coordinator at Evansville (IN) Surgery Center (ESC). "They helped tremendously," says Doerner, whose facility conducts a mock survey with a survey coordinator from a nearby hospital once a year. "Mock tracers are probably the best thing, because when somebody from the outside comes through, [he or she] pick[s] up on things that I miss . . . It helps to have an eye from someplace else," says Doerner. ESC, a multispecialty ambulatory surgical center receiving about 9,500 cases per year, had its three-day survey in late March. The survey included about five patient tracers.

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