Sachse’s newly opened regional acute care hospital is getting closer to being able to offer its full complement of services to all patients.
Trinity Regional Hospital hosted The Joint Commission, a nonprofit which accredits health care organizations and programs, Jan. 19-21. The hospital was awarded the commission’s Gold Seal of Approval, which is the highest accreditation rank receivable.
Trinity’s Chief Nursing Officer Kim Caraway said the choice to become accredited is completely voluntary, but was always a goal for the hospital administration. She emphasized the choice to be evaluated by The Joint Commission was because of the organization’s status as having the most rigorous standards, 265 of them, for a health care institution to meet.
The standards are developed in accordance with the latest health care procedures and scientific literature..
“Having worked in hospital leadership for more than 20 years,” Caraway said. “I’ve seen the value of developing a system focused on The Joint Commission’s Hospital Standards, and the positive impact it has on improving the quality of care for patients.”
The hospital also chose to undergo Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, certification simultaneously, said Caraway. By being certified, Trinity will have a CMS Certification Number, which certifies compliance with Medicare and/or Medicaid health provider standards and allows the hospital to participate in those programs as well.
Caraway said the hospital began preparing for the certification and accreditation process with staff since the hospital opened in November 2021. It also required both hospital administrators, such as Caraway, and leaders of different departments to work together in order to prepare for the commission’s visit.
For the hospital to undergo the review, it needed to have at least 20 inpatient cases. Once the hospital reached the required number of patients, The Joint Commission came in mid-January.
The evaluators found no high-level or conditional findings which must be addressed and assessed by a future visit, said Caraway. Since there is no need for a follow-up visit, the next accreditation cycle will take place in about three years. The commission also conducts random site surveys to ensure compliance with its standards.
Currently, Trinity has required any incoming employees to be experienced, Caraway said, but the hospital hopes to hire recent graduates in the future as it continues to expand its services. She added the hospital uses the Joint Commission’s standards as a basis for its staff training program.
Additionally, Caraway said the hospital is still waiting for its CMS Certification Number, but it will hopefully have it by mid-April at the latest.
Susan Alsobrooks, Trinity’s director of perioperative services, said the hospital started surgical services Dec. 15, 2021. She added all the surgeries performed were abdominal and her team has performed around 12 operations without any complications.
However, the preparation for surgical patients dates back to February 2021, said Alsobrooks, which coincides with when she joined Trinity’s staff.
“Every service line we plan on opening requires a different set of equipment,” Alsobrooks said. “We want to open in phases to make sure we have everything we need, and we started with general surgery because that is what ER patients would need.”
The next service the hospital anticipates opening is orthopedics, said Alsobrooks. She described orthopedic operations will allow Trinity to serve a diverse set of patients in the community. The operations will also start off by addressing fractures and build up from there.
Trinity also reached another milestone last week when it began receiving EMS from Murphy, Garland, Wylie, Richardson and Rowlett. Previously, it only received Sachse’s EMS traffic.
Now that the hospital is open to more services, Caraway said she hopes Trinity addresses a gap in the area’s hospital coverage.
“We anticipate being very busy,” Caraway said. “Right now, it’s making sure we’re providing services for our patients in the future.”