Accreditation

Involve staff in process to improve critical test results policies

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, January 1, 2008

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Knowing just what the "critical" part of critical test results is can be an ongoing battle between physicians and nursing staff members. The result-too many calls, frustration, and tension among staff members-can deteriorate both communication and quality of care. Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital (SPMH) in Kerrville, TX, has taken steps to streamline and improve its critical test results policies and has seen key improvements as a result. "Before the survey, we had done our periodic performance review, and critical test reporting was one of the items we identified that we were not in compliance with," says Barbara Stehling, RN, BSN, Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO)/continuing quality improvement coordinator and patient safety officer for SPMH. "That was when we started working on our current process," she says.

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