Piedmont HealthCare Endoscopy Center recently earned reaccreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). AAAHC accreditation is an arduous process requiring the organization to participate in on-going self-evaluation, peer review, education and commitment to continuously improve its care and services. The organization also commits to a thorough, on-site survey by AAAHC surveyors (who are also health care professionals) at least every three years.
While federal and state regulations are required for ambulatory care centers, accreditation by the AAAHC is voluntary. “It takes a team of physicians and staff working diligently to make something like this happen,” said Sallie Gathings. “When the gastroenterologists of Piedmont HealthCare set out to earn this distinction, they didn’t take it lightly. They set the bar high on many levels – going beyond what is needed for the certification,” she said.
Ms. Gathings explained the physicians and staff conducted continual reviews and updates to policies and procedures along with initiating quality improvement studies. They held meetings to set goals and policies to assure the center continues to provide the best patient experience with the highest level of safety. “As an endoscopy center, we have to meet all federal, state and local requirements, as well as AAAHC standards to earn this distinction. We have ongoing equipment and safety inspections, chart reviews, patient surveys along with physician peer reviews. The cost and time is high, but our physicians are dedicated to compliance and safety because we believe our patients deserve nothing less,” she noted.
PHC Endoscopy Utilizes the Endora Scope Tracking System and Sets the Gold Standard in North Carolina for Disinfection Practices in Endoscopy
“Our Endoscopy Center is also the first center in the state to acquire the Endora Scope tracking system that eliminates potential disinfection errors. Though this has never been an issue at our center, it has been a serious issue for other centers nationwide,” said Joseph A. Petrozza MD, FACP, Board Certified Gastroenterologist with Piedmont HealthCare.
Endora is a scope tracking system that monitors the entire disinfection process to prevent human error.
“The Centers for Disease Control among other state and federal regulatory agencies require scopes be cleaned with enzymatic cleaning at the bedside right after it is used. With Endora, that cleaning must be logged, or the scope cannot continue to the next step. If a scope doesn’t complete a full disinfection cycle within the scope washers, it will not let it move on to the following step. The physicians realize there is no financial gain to have the Endora system, but they all agree safety – on all levels – is more important than anything. People are humans, and errors can happen, but this system prevents that,” Ms. Gathings said.
“As another layer of protection, PHC gastroenterologists also use disposable valves in the scopes. Scope valves are small and require several steps to clean each piece. They can harbor bacteria if not cleaned appropriately. Disposable valves remove that issue,” she included.
“These extra measures are above and beyond what the AAAHC requires, but anything less than the highest standard is not good enough for our center and our patients,” Dr. Petrozza said.
“Scope tracking is the cutting edge of technology for this type of disinfection. We wanted our center to be the “gold standard of care” for our region and the state,” Ms. Gathings said. “Patients can rest assured this facility is dedicated to the highest level of quality and safety, is current with all certifications and licenses, and is operated by board certified gastroenterologists and an experienced staff. PHC Endoscopy Center is focused on patient-centered care but also meets and exceeds all requirements both federally and within the state.
When surveyed by AAAHC, one of their investigators stated, ‘if I ever need to have a colonoscopy, I would have mine done here.’ I feel that is the best compliment any center could receive,” Ms. Gathings said.
Acronym and Longform ColorAbout the AAAHC The AAAHC was founded in 1979 to encourage and assist ambulatory health care organizations to provide the highest achievable level of care for recipients in the most efficient and economically sound manner. The AAAHC accomplishes this by the operation of a peer-based assessment, consultation, education and accreditation program.
About The PHC Endoscopy Center The PHC Endoscopy Center is a specialty care facility offering colon cancer prevention and detection services and endoscopic procedures, such as colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy. Services and procedures at the PHC Endoscopy Center are provided by our Piedmont HealthCare board certified gastroenterologists: Carl A. Foulks, Jr. MD, Joseph A. Petrozza MD, FACP, Vivek Trivedi, MD, and Terri L. Jaggers, MD.
Please watch the attached video and find out what the Endora Scope Tracking System means for your health and safety.