TRACK: Management and Administration in OEM
Tricia Barrett, MHSA, National Committee for Quality Assurance, Washington, DC
Geralyn Johnson, DDS, MPH, Federal Occupational Health, Bethesda, MD
Michael Kulczycki, MBA, FASAE, The Joint Commission, Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Robert K. McLellan, MD, MPH, FAAFP, FACOEM, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH
Michelle Smith-Jefferies, MD, MPH, FACOEM, Federal Occupational Health, Bethesda, MD
Most health care providers are familiar with the hospital accreditation process; however, few ambulatory care providers and even fewer occupational health care providers, consider improving their organization’s quality and safety of care services through a systems accreditation. Federal Occupational Health (FOH), a non-appropriated entity within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and provider of health, wellness, and safety services to 1.8 million federal employees, chose to seek a systems accreditation by The Joint Commission (TJC). Accreditation is a process whereby healthcare providers invite an independent, outside evaluation of the organization’s health services and the supporting delivery systems. FOH’s journey, as the first and largest federal occupational health service provider, serves as a model of how a nearly 70 year old, expansive provider used this process to improve patient quality of care and safety. As an organization, Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) is committed to delivering high value health care, excellent health outcomes, and patient safety at low cost with a great patient experience. The patient centered medical home (PCMH) has been recognized as serving these goals. Because the relationship of the specialty “neighborhood” with a PCMH is crucial to achieving high value care, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) established a Patient-Centered Specialty Practice recognition program to encourage specialty practices to work closely with primary care. D-H occupational medicine chose to pursue this certification to enhance the visibility and utility of occupational medicine to primary care and at the same time accelerate its path to achieving the healthiest workforce possible.