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David Grant USAF Medical Center reaches new heights

Airmen and other medical professionals from David Grant USAF Medical Center pose for a photo.

DGMC is the Air Force's flagship treatment facility, in the United States, providing a full spectrum of health care and patient-centered treatment to a prime service area throughout eight western states.

David Grant USAF Medical Center is stepping into the new decade with a renewed Joint Commission accreditation.

Joint Commission accreditation is voluntary and reserved for health care organizations across the globe that meet the highest quality and patient care requisites.

“Accreditation by the Joint Commission is considered a gold standard for hospitals, and is one way military and civilian health care systems can compare themselves using industry-set standards and best practices,” said Col. Kristen Beals, 60th Medical Group commander. “We are evaluated on the processes that we have established across both inpatient and outpatient clinical areas that provide safe and high quality care for our patients.”

Health care facilities must undergo an on-site evaluation to earn The Gold Seal of Approval accreditation from the Joint Commission.

The DGMC’s no-notice evaluation included four days of Joint Commission officials inspecting the hospital. Commission officials evaluated DGMC staff members and processes to ensure they met nearly 2,000 standards and criteria. 

The accreditation came with another major milestone on its heels – the launch of MHS GENESIS. The new electronic health record, initially rolled out to four additional Department of Defense installations in the Pacific Northwest, consolidates and modernizes the legacy medical record systems.  Completing both significant events simultaneously hasn’t been accomplished by another military treatment facility to date, said Tricia Vadney, DGMC’s clinical quality and compliance chief.

“David Grant Medical Center was surveyed the week prior to implementation of MHS GENESIS,” Vadney said. “The hospital proved they could successfully undergo a major accreditation survey and prepare for the transition to a new electronic health record.” 

The new electronic health record proved to be instrumental in correcting shortcomings identified with the legacy system during the Joint Commission Survey.

“The benefit of being surveyed is the identification of opportunities to strengthen our processes and policies,” Vadney said. “As part of the accreditation, all deficiencies were corrected within 60 calendar days.”

DGMC was also re-certified for Primary Care Medical Home – an ancillary certification verifying an organization provides disease-specific services – for its outpatient primary care clinics: Internal Medicine, Family Medicine Residency Clinic, Pediatrics, Family Health and Flight Medicine. 

“All the positive improvements are implemented to provide the best care possible.” Beals said.

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