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as a response if the patient is unaware of his or her allergies or cannot describe a specific allergic reaction. At least you (and your surveyor) will know that it has been assessed. Random chart audits are a good way


to assess whether allergies and sensitiv- ities are being recorded consistently.


3. Refer to the patient check-in area as “reception” rather than “the waiting room” to help communicate that a patient’s time is valuable. Standards for accreditation dic- tate that all patients be treated with respect, consideration and dignity. This may seem like an obvious or nat- ural expectation, but small ways in which we interact with patients can frame the entire patient–provider encounter. Making minor adjustments to the way we address patients, pro-


When an organization’s leadership strives to bring its entire staff together to focus on a common goal of improving the patient experience, small changes can make a big difference.”


— Nancy Jo Vinson, RN, CASC Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care


cesses, options and treatment can completely alter the way a patient feels after the encounter. Establishing the “reception” area introduces a wel- coming environment and prepares the patient for a calm, helpful experience at your facility.


4. Remember to provide patients with any relevant handouts and all available printed information regarding diagnosis, evaluation, treatment and prognosis. Making applicable handouts, diagnosis and treatment information readily avail- able is critical in encouraging patients to be active decision makers in their per- sonal care. The increasingly informed patient has more knowledge about health care issues and will make the necessary inquiries so that he or she feels empow- ered to make the right decisions. When an organization’s leadership


strives to bring its entire staff together to focus on a common goal of improv- ing the patient experience, small changes can make a big difference.


Nancy Jo Vinson, RN, CASC, is a AAAHC surveyor. Write her at njvsin@aol.com.


ASC FOCUS JUNE/JULY 2015


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