All About: The Joint Commission – The Silver Lining of a TJC Visit

Many sterile processing department managers know how it feels to learn that your facility is about to undergo a Joint Commission (JC) survey; even for the most prepared departments, it can be anxiety-inducing.

Many SPD managers also know another feeling: the frustration of knowing that your department requires investments in new equipment and tools, but cannot get the approval to get impactful projects completed.

Earlier this year we convened our Voice of the Customer council for a conversation about TJC surveys, their experience with them, and the direction they’re headed. One interesting piece of advice we discussed was that a TJC visit can serve as a great way to get a long-overdue project underway. So, how does a TJC visit help get your projects done?

Start with awareness of what needs improvement

Don’t let a visit from TJC be the first time you learn that something needs to be resolved or improved in your department. Auditing your department for areas of deficiency and opportunities for improvement can help you stay on top of what TJC may be looking for during a visit, as well as keep your department operating at peak efficiency.

One strategy to help with identifying potential areas for improvement is regularly communicating with your team and opening the floor to get input from them. Another is to participate in local industry communities to share thoughts and ideas with other reprocessing professionals.

Have solutions identified and pre-sourced

When TJC determines that something needs to be resolved, departments aren’t generally given a long time to do so. Our VOC members indicated that 60 days is typically the amount of time allotted to resolve findings from a survey.

This means that not just being aware of a problem ahead of time is enough, it’s also important to have solutions identified to remedy the problem. For instance, if you don’t have a dedicated sink basin for ocular reprocessing, pre-sourcing solutions like a single soaking station or a dedicated sink insert can resolve that problem quickly.

Have game plans ready

It’s one thing to know what options are available to you, it’s another to know how to get the right one implemented. Laying out game plans for each solution to the problems you’ve identified will not only help your department resolve TJC findings as quickly as possible but give your facility enough time to adequately weigh the pros and cons and make the right call for your department.

The Silver Lining

Sterile processing professionals know what it takes to make their department great, and do everything they can to achieve that level of greatness. Unfortunately, sterile processing doesn’t always get the budget approvals they know they need. A visit from TJC can be the catalyst for change in departments that know they need it, and planning ahead is the best way to take advantage of that opportunity when it presents itself.


Looking to get your department prepared for a Joint Commission Visit? Check out: All About: The Joint Commission – How to Ace a Visit from TJC

Want help solving a problem or tackling a challenge you’ve already identified? We’d love to help!

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