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Jones Lang LaSalle Calls on Hospital Execs to Embrace Three-Step Preparation Model for Accreditation Surveys

Shifting mindset, embracing compliance, understanding core capabilities key to successful program

CHICAGO April 8, 2013 — Hospitals and healthcare systems looking to improve their accreditation survey success should adopt a three-step program, including embracing compliance, understanding core strengths and  being prepared which will ultimately result in “every day” compliance, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

“Survey compliance goes beyond meeting basic expectations,” said Michael Chisholm, Vice President of Compliance, Jones Land LaSalle, said. “It’s about positioning a hospital to perform optimally by ensuring that the elements of creating and maintaining a safe place for all occupants are met, every day. It’s the only way to ensure that a hospital can do what it does best -  give quality healthcare to those in need.”

Moving toward everyday compliance and gold-star ratings requires hospital administrators to challenge their preconceptions on accreditation surveys. Instead of diverting valuable resources away from patient care and other related services to prepare for the “imminent and ominous” accreditation surveys, administrators should make compliance a natural part of everyday management.

In JLL’s report, “What if you actually looked forward to accreditation surveys?” Chisholm recommends hospitals consider three simple but critical points:

1)    Lose the reactive mindset
It is important to believe that commonly held perceptions of regulatory events can be shifted. While the consequences of a poor audit can be costly and otherwise significant, audits also represent an opportunity to benchmark positions.

“Surveys to hospitals are like taxes: they always happen; it’s the law of the land,” said Chisholm. “It’s a condition of participation. Being resistant to them often defeats the purpose.”

2)    Embrace compliance
Another way to look at compliance is that an ongoing, proactive compliance program translates into a state of continuous preparedness.

“Everyday compliance sounds unrealistic and out of reach,” Chisholm said. “More accurately, however, it’s a stretch goal. It’s about acknowledging that compliance is the foundation of how every organization does business; not on the occasion of an event, but every day,” said Chisholm.

The sole purpose of compliance is to ensure that hospitals meet minimum standards for patient care and the overall environment of care.

“For world-class, forward-thinking hospitals and systems, simply meeting the minimum standards isn’t acceptable,” Chisholm said. “Organizations that go that extra mile, adopting and adhering to best practices ultimately reap the greatest benefits on many different levels.”

Compliance also represents a risk management program. By identifying risks, and substandard practices, hospitals can take the necessary steps to ensure the highest level of care and the best possible environment while avoiding issues of non-compliance.

“Continually pushing for zero defects isn’t easy,” said Chisholm. “But hospitals take the responsibility to hold staff and the facility up to the inspection standard that produces the very best environment.”

3)    Determine core capabilities
Administrators should endeavor to fully understand the core functions and competencies of their staff. Compliance and patient care must work in harmony. This requires staff members to dedicate their time to their responsibilities and keep up with rule changes from various survey sources.

“Administrators need to ask if the people accountable for ensuring compliance are trained and empowered to drive consistency and discipline in maintaining facilities and procedures,” Chisholm said.

In other areas requiring non-medical knowledge or skills, healthcare organizations increasingly turn to outside experts – for IT, accounts receivables, even digital image management.

“If accreditation survey compliance is beyond the scope of a healthcare staff’s mission, it’s time to bring in facilities and process experts who can get the job done,” he concluded.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Healthcare Solutions group works with hospitals and healthcare systems throughout the nation, delivering comprehensive inpatient and ambulatory facility management, strategic consulting, real estate capital advisory, program management, property management, transaction services, lease administration and energy/sustainability advisory services. Through its work, the Healthcare Solutions group connects healthcare business strategies to real estate solutions, driving efficiencies and enhancing quality.  For the last five years JLL has been ranked among the top five development firms in the Modern Healthcare Magazine’s Design & Construction Survey. For more news, videos and research resources on Jones Lang LaSalle, please visit the firm’s U.S. media center Web page. Bookmark it here:

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About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. With annual revenue of $3.9 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle operates in 70 countries from more than 1,000 locations worldwide. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services to a property portfolio of 2.6 billion square feet. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $47.0 billion of real estate assets under management. For further information, visit