Phoebe gets site visit, starts 'Love Your Hearts' campaign

ALBANY, Ga. -- Following the re-election of John Culbreath and Mary Helen Dykes as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Board, an update was given Wednesday on the hospital's most recent accreditation survey as well as an ongoing healthy hearts campaign.

An accreditation site visit, which is to be done now on an annual basis, was conducted by five surveyors last week from DNV Accreditation, who spent four days touring various parts of the hospital alongside its staff.

"The results were very, very good," said Joe Austin, chief operating officer for Phoebe Putney Health System, at the hospital's board meeting on Wednesday. "They were very, very detailed."

The site visit follows a switch from the Joint Commission, which until recently had been conducting accreditation surveys for Phoebe every three years, and as it is attempting to reach the expressed goal of becoming a top 10 percent hospital.

"To go from Point A to Point B, you've got to get a focus on process improvement, which DNV does," Austin said. "Plus, we like the idea of doing an annual survey. The Joint Commission does it every three years, and we felt that was too long (in between surveys) for this business."

During the course of the visit, Austin said, the surveyors went onto various floors throughout the hospital. While taking a look around, they also spoke with patients about how their time in the hospital had been.

The surveyors even went so far as to look at the roof and check the bottom of containers for dust, he said.

"There were no serious findings," Austin said. "They will issue us a written report in the coming days, and we will have a period of time to respond (and outline policies to be put in place to address what needs to be fixed)."

The healthy hearts campaign currently ongoing at Phoebe, dubbed "Love Your Hearts," is taking place in recognition of American Heart Month. As part of the special month, the debut of "Health Matters" magazine next week, a Zumba-Thon for Phoebe employees, a "Wear Red to Church Day" on Feb. 24, a grant presentation for 17 automated external defibrillators to area elementary schools, and an AED presentation to the Albany Search and Rescue Team, will be among the events taking place over the course of the next few weeks.

Also among the scheduled events is the announcement of a program to conduct eighth-grade health fairs throughout Dougherty and Lee counties, the first of which was set for this morning at Albany Middle School.

Starting this weekend, TV spots and public service announcements will be running as part of the campaign featuring Georgia resident and Grammy winner Ann Nesby, an entertainer who has had personal experience with heart disease.

Following an hour-long executive session, the board also approved two months worth of credentialing reports passed along from its professional affairs committee -- which primarily deals with medical staff appointments -- and also approved a revision to the hospital's bylaws.

The revision, which was meant to clarify the role of the professional affairs committee in regards to quality assurance, reads:

"The Committee shall also watch over and report to the Board on matters of quality and safety within the hospital, including peer review and such other analysis and review of quality and safety issues as the Committee deems appropriate. In addition to the regular membership of the Professional Affairs Committee, the Chair of the Board of Directors may, at his or her discretion and with the consent of the Board of Phoebe Putney Health System, appoint a member of the Medical Staff's Quality Council to be an ex-officio non-voting member of the Committee."