The Medical City secures 6th JCI accreditation amid Covid-19 pandemic

Lilibeth Manlulu, TMC-JCI Survey Coordinator and Department Head of Medical Continuous Improvement Hub, hands over the final survey report for TMC’s 6th JCI accreditation to TMC President and CEO Dr. Eugenio Jose F. Ramos and Assistant Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ruben G. Kasala. On background are the five JCI certificates since 2006.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, The Medical City (TMC) Ortigas submitted itself for assessment and testing by the Joint Commission International (JCI) and subsequently earned its Gold Seal of Approval for a record sixth time.

The Gold Seal of Approval is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care. Since its first accreditation in 2006, TMC has been continuously fulfilling and maintaining the required criteria of JCI, the world’s premier health-care quality improvement and accreditation body. With the JCI’s gold seal, each person who comes to TMC is assured of receiving healthcare services that are at par with the best hospitals in the world.

TMC’s Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) Program also retains its status as the first of its kind in the Philippines and currently one of only 15 around the world that is certified by JCI.

These recent achievements reiterate TMC’s commitment to offer the highest quality care and ensuring utmost safety for patients even in the face of this global health crisis.

“We are indeed proud of this international recognition for the 6th time in a row for our JCI accreditation and for the third time for our Acute Myocardial Infarction Clinical Care Program. And as we celebrate these accomplishments, we remain mindful that we need to maintain our excellent quality of service. From our mission and vision, the key phrase there is to always keep patients on center stage and to deliver to them service of greater worth—this is what patient partnership is all about,” says Jose Xavier “Eckie” B. Gonzales, TMC Chairman of the Board.

“This JCI Seal of Quality & Safety is a reflection of the level of professionalism, service, and leadership mindset our team has achieved over the years—a culture of excellence that is a cut above the rest and is getting better as the years pass,” says Dr. Eugenio Jose F. Ramos, TMC President and CEO.

“Our shared vision and collective collaboration have led us to where we are now. Regardless of the exigencies of the times, our grit and resilience keep us ahead; we have proven that to ourselves, particularly in this global pandemic,” adds Dr. Ramos.

From this unprecedented crisis and with Covid-19 posing challenges in health-care service delivery emerged an inspired and undaunted response from TMC. TMC has boosted its processes and implemented initiatives to adapt to the new normal as it continues to ensure adherence to the strictest standards of quality and safety.

Notwithstanding the pandemic and under severe limitations, Dr. Ramos says The Medical City has coped, survived, and continued to deliver quality care and safety measures to its patients. With the same vigor it had during preparations for previous accreditations, TMC braced for the tedious JCI virtual survey which took place last October 11 to 14.

JCI has started conducting most surveys as either a hybrid or a virtual survey due to continued travel restrictions and the fluid nature of Covid-19 in general. The virtual survey which was utilized during TMC’s reaccreditation process proved to be just as effective as it maintained the same rigor as a JCI on-site survey.

During the virtual survey, a team of JCI expert surveyors evaluated TMC’s compliance with hospital standards under the updated 7th edition which has now expanded to 13 chapters, 282 standards, and 1,200 measurable elements related to a variety of areas.

As part of the accreditation program, every three years JCI re-evaluates the hospital against the JCI standards. This involves a comprehensive inspection of the facility, review of practices, processes and procedures, interviews, and examination of records for evidence of sustained compliance and improvement.

Specific enhancements in the 7th edition of the JCI Accreditation Standards for Hospitals include new or revised standards in International Patient Safety Goals, Care of Patients, Prevention and Control of Infections, Facility Management and Safety, and Management of Information Chapters, as well as clarification of sentinel events, adverse events, and near misses.

“This 2021, it would have been acceptable had we decided to postpone the JCI survey because of the 3rd surge of the pandemic, the safety restrictions to movement, plus the fact that we were launching our new Hospital Information System just a few months before the scheduled virtual survey. But we looked outside and into ourselves, and just as we had prevailed over the pandemic chaos, we knew that our team was strong and solid. So we opted to submit ourselves for testing. We never doubted ourselves,” Dr. Ramos remarks.

Re-certification of TMC’s Acute Myocardial Infarction Program

TMC Ortigas recently secured its third JCI certification for its AMI Clinical Care Program following a highly successful virtual assessment last October 18 and 19.

AMI is the medical term for heart attack. The TMC Cardiovascular Institute’s AMI program was established to treat heart attack patients effectively and rapidly. It is a holistic approach to AMI care which does not only involve a rapid response and nationally recognized expertise but also advanced treatment options, specialized nursing care, cardiac rehabilitation, and comprehensive lifestyle modification program.

TMC’s AMI Program targets rapid reperfusion which means that a heart attack patient who walks through the doors of the hospital’s Emergency Department should have the blocked coronary artery opened in the Catheterization Laboratory (Cath Lab) within 60 minutes.

TMC received its first certification for its AMI Program in 2015 and was re-certified in October 2018.

TMC’s 54 years of service

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the care seeking behavior of patients but The Medical City has set the standards for a two-in-one hospital system that makes it a safe place for all. Its recent accreditation and certification add to the assurance that patients are safe and protected when they are at The Medical City. Thus, there is no reason for them to delay seeking care for their medical concerns, whether Covid-related or not.

“What a way to celebrate our 54th Anniversary this week, made even richer by the fact that we pursued the JCI survey in the middle of the Covid-19 global pandemic,” adds Dr. Ramos.

Formerly known as ABM Sison Hospital, The Medical City was established in October 1967 as a tertiary doctor-owned hospital in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila. In June 2004, the hospital moved to its current location, a 1.5 hectare lot along Ortigas Avenue. Merely two years after its transfer to its Ortigas home, TMC submitted itself to the rigorous review and accreditation process of the JCI.

Joint Commission International (JCI) was established in 1997 as a division of Joint Commission Resources, Inc. (JCR), a wholly controlled, not-for-profit affiliate of The Joint Commission. Through international accreditation, consultation, publications, and education programs, JCI extends The Joint Commission’s mission worldwide by helping to improve the quality of patient care.  JCI assists international health-care organizations, public health agencies, health ministries and others in more than 100 countries.

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