If you hear a few hoots and hollers in the halls of the Prowers Medical Center Clinic this week, don’t be surprised. The staff is celebrating passing a surprise on-site state survey with flying colors. As a designated Rural Health Clinic they must complete regular lengthy and detailed surveys to make sure they are compliant with strict state regulations. With so many details to check, the chances are high to find something out of line. But the surveyor found zip.
“The survey itself has 62 pages worth of questions, so there are a lot of opportunities to get marked with a deficiency, but when she left she told us we didn’t have any. Not a single one! We’re waiting to see it in writing, but it looks really positive,” says Dawn Watts, Clinic Manager.
In 2010, Prowers Medical Center Clinic was certified as a Rural Health Clinic by the state of Colorado. The purpose of the program is to increase access to primary care services for Medicaid and Medicare patients in rural communities. Everyone benefits as the state sets strict quality standards that must be upheld.
“When the state representative walked in without announcement a few Tuesdays back we were all surprised and naturally a bit nervous, but everyone did a great job. We had everything she needed to review on hand and she was able to get through it all in one day,” Watts says.
The surveyor did a top-to-bottom walk through of the facility, looking at everything from ceiling tiles for safety, medication labels for accuracy, supplies for proper storage, patient files for appropriate care, personnel files for proper credentials and up-to-date certifications, and more.
“She opened all draws to make sure we were storing things well, checked drug and supply packages to make sure they hadn’t expired and were labeled correctly, checked our emergency exit plan, questioned our nursing staff on their knowledge on different topics, and scoured through our policy and procedure manuals. She said it looked like we had everything in place as needed and that we had zero deficiencies,” Dawn adds.
While it was a huge relief to have the survey completed, the Clinic staff was not surprised by the results. That’s because they have many practices in place to ensure everything is done as it should be done.
“We’ve established methods to make sure everything is up-to-date and compliant. We have a safety committee that walks through every month and a compliance team that we meet with regularly. We also participate in the Colorado Rural Health Center’s mock surveys to make sure we are prepared for when the actual one happens. We’ve worked hard and it’s really paid off,” Watts said.
“The mock surveys are part of our overall commitment to quality. We set the bar pretty high for ourselves. Regulatory standards are the minimum. We aim to go way above and reach for excellence in all that we do because our community deserves that,” says Craig Loveless, Prowers Medical Center CEO.
The zero deficiency rating sends a strong message to the community: You can feel confident of the care you receive at the Prowers Medical Center Clinic.
“When Dawn came in to my office to tell me, we did a huge high five. Dawn and her team are fantastic. Our patients are our customers and whenever we can we give them a shout out for entrusting their healthcare with us. In return, we commit to providing them with the best care possible. It’s the power of our community to come together and make sure everyone is well cared for,” Loveless concludes.