By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer

Morgan Memorial Hospital (MMH) underwent its triennial inspection by The Joint Commission (TJC) on Aug. 12 and 13 in order to maintain its Critical Access Hospital (CAH) accreditation. MMH passed the TJC’s top 10 most challenging clinical and non-clinical standards, with only minor findings.

TJC is a federal survey agency, which has accredited hospitals for more than 60 years. MMH has been accredited through them since 2004. TJC’s survey process evaluates actual care processes through data analysis and patient-care observation.

Hospitals accredited by TJC are required to be inspected by TJC during each three-year accreditation cycle in order to assure that TJC’s standards are being upheld.

Ralph Castillo, CEO of MMH, stated in his Administrator’s Executive Summary that “the physical limitations of a 53-plus year-old building” and “more documentation of existing processes and procedures” were the only areas that left opportunities for improvement, and that “the hospital did not receive any findings related to direct patient care.”

Castillo also stated that this is a remarkable feat, considering the sudden death of Pam Stevens, former MMH Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), two-and-a-half years ago and the absence of current CNO, Beth O’Neill during the Aug. 12 and 13 inspection.

“We were very well prepared,” said Castillo. “We didn’t take any hits. We got through it very well.”

One of the several positive TJC surveyor comments repeated during the Morgan Memorial Hospital Authority (MMHA) meeting on Aug. 29 read, “Small hospitals by nature have a stigma of not being advanced enough to take care of folks; but we’re amazed at the technology that you all have to provide to your patients. Even after hours pharmacy consults that provide a second look at patient medication orders for drug interactions, correct doses, etc. is a huge benefit to your patients.”

Other comments included compliments to the MMHA board, the Dietary staff and the clinical staff.