Administrators at the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., are breathing a sigh of relief following a national accrediting group's inspection visit last week.
The medical center's hospital scored a 95 out of 100, according to initial results of the survey by a four-member team from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Final results won't be known for four to six weeks.
"This was a great survey," said Irene Cumming, the hospital's chief executive officer.
Lawrence Memorial Hospital received a score of 88 in a survey in January.
The Joint Commission, based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., routinely evaluates hospitals once every three years. Its inspections are voluntary, but they are the industry standard for assessing hospital performance.
The commission is getting to know KUMC pretty well. Last year KUMC was subject to an unusual and unscheduled inspection in response to allegations that the hospital's heart transplant program admitted patients but performed no transplants for 10 months in 1994 and 1995.
The Joint Commission sent a special two-person investigative team to the medical center on June 5, 1995, for an unannounced visit. In September 1995 a Joint Commission review board ordered the hospital to correct numerous management and staffing deficiencies within its inactivate heart transplant program.
This time around, the entire hospital was evaluated during a regularly scheduled evaluation.
One of the surveyors said the results should place KUMC among the top hospitals in the nation, according to Dr. Tom Valuck, associate hospital administrator.
"Another told us if he had to receive medical care, he'd want to come here," Valuck said.