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Hospitals can now request IMQ physician surveyors for accreditation surveys



August 07, 2014
Area(s) of Interest: Accreditation Hospitals and Health Facilities 

The California Medical Association’s (CMA) Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ) recently signed a contract with The Joint Commission that allows California acute care hospitals to choose whether they want an IMQ physician surveyor to participate in their accreditation surveys. Hospitals with survey anniversary dates in 2015 have until August 15 to indicate their selection. If they do not actively request an IMQ surveyor, IMQ will not participate on their survey.

Since the 1970s, IMQ has participated in hospital licensure and accreditation surveys in partnership with the Joint Commission and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) under the Consolidated Accreditation and Licensure Survey Program (CALS). In November 2013, however, The Joint Commission informed IMQ that it no longer wanted to continue the existing relationship. CDPH, which previously participated in the integrated hospital surveys, is instead piloting its own licensure surveys.

Under the new agreement, hospitals that do not choose to have an IMQ physician surveyor participate in their survey will be surveyed according to The Joint Commission's survey methodology used in other states, as described in the regular Joint Commission 2014 Survey Activity Guide.

CMA members are encouraged to talk with their hospital administrators about the importance of including IMQ on their hospital surveys.  IMQ’s physician surveyors are experienced, actively practicing medical staff leaders. In addition to completing The Joint Commission's training, they understand California’s unique practice environment and regulatory requirements.  Because they are “in the trenches” of patient care, they offer pragmatic suggestions for improving patient safety systems.

CMA believes that IMQ surveyors are uniquely qualified to participate in hospital surveys due to their knowledge of state requirements, first-hand experience in California practice and the ability to motivate medical staff members to participate more fully in the hospital’s patient safety processes.

For more information, see the IMQ website.

Contact: Leslie Anne Iacopi, (415) 882-5167 or liacopi@imq.org.

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