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JCAHO Gold -- When Medical Care is the Very Best


Plastic Surgeons Gifts

Alex Denes, MD
View Dr Denes' Website
225 Laursen Street
Tel: 951.925.6969
Hemet, CA 92543

While virtually all cosmetic and plastic surgeons do their utmost to enhance your appearance, they also know it’s far more than a fad -- they are performing real surgery and that always implies risks of varying degrees. So, responsible surgeons everywhere try to cover all the bases and make cosmetic and plastic surgery as safe as humanly possible.

But what is a surgeon to do if the electricity goes out in the middle of a procedure? Or, suppose the building catches on fire or terrorists strike. What does the doctor and his staff do then?

Inspect 150 Items



One way to make sure absolutely nothing in a medical practice is left to chance is by obtaining what’s known as a JCAHO certification. JCAHO stands for “Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations,” a non-profit body founded to make the practice of medicine safer. In an individual practice, the inspectors will thoroughly check out 150 items. (And, yes, JACHO has procedures to ensure patient safety in case the electricity is cut, if a fire breaks out or worse.) Founded in 1951, JCAHO is the oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in U.S. health care

Cosmetic surgeon Alex Denes, M.D., recently completed the rigorous process for his Hemet, California, practice after eight months of preparation. So now, his practice, letterhead and website bear the gold JCAHO seal.

“The JCAHO seal means the patient is getting the very best care possible in our surgical center,” says Dr. Denes. “Let me give you an example: suppose the electricity went out over the weekend while nobody was here and came back on again before we arrived on Monday. All our refrigerated ‘biologicals’ – vaccines, serums, human fat and the like – would be ruined but we would have no way of knowing. JCAHO requires us to install a device that shows the power feed to the refrigerator has been continuous.”

Likewise, among the items JCAHO inspectors look over are possible disaster scenarios. So, the staff must conduct an emergency fire evacuation drill once every six months. Moreover, the facility must also have an emergency power source available while the surgical equipment – like lasers and liposuction machines – must have tags and records showing when required maintenance was done and by whom. Office smoke alarms must be checked weekly.

Surprise Inspections



Plastic Surgeons Gifts

The JCAHO seal which a certified surgeon can carry on the practice signage, letterheads and web site.

“When we buy a new laser, we must keep a record showing who has been trained on it and when,” Dr. Denes says.

Before JACHO performs its first inspection, all systems and safeguards must have been in place for three months. The first walk-through and investigation is done by appointment but any inspections after that are unannounced. Examiners check for up-to-date patient records, that the environment surrounding patients is safe and that the building and staff are as secure as possible.

“All these safeguards are demanding but it’s the way any physician should practice medicine anyhow,” Dr. Denes says.

“Inspectors additionally look into personnel files to make sure that staff members caring for patients have had the appropriate training and that their skills are being tested at least once a year,” Dr. Denes says. “For instance, I’m required to certify my R.N. when we receive new equipment.”

According to the JACHO website, field inspectors are themselves M.D.s., R.N.s and other health center administrators who keep the emphasis on not punishment, but continuing medical education and safety. The accreditation is awarded for three years.

According to the organization’s website: “JACHO is a continuous process. Every time a nurse double-checks a patient’s I.D. before administering medication, every time a surgical teams calls a “time out” to verify they agree they are about to perform the correct procedure, at the correct site, on the correct patient, they live and breathe the accreditation process.”

Plastic surgery statistics reveal that more surgical and minimally invasive procedures are being done in physician’s offices and surgical suites and will soon overtake the number of operations performed in hospitals.

Patients currently read a surgeon’s website to learn about his or her training, to see the before and after pictures, check out prices and so on.

Now, the more savvy patients will also be looking for the JACHO Gold Seal of Approval.



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