Riverside: Joint Commission makes unannounced site visit to look into complaint

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NEWPORT NEWS — A health care accrediting organization is looking into a complaint reported about Riverside Regional Medical Center.

The Joint Commission was at the Newport News hospital Tuesday conducting a survey, Joint Commission spokeswoman Elizabeth Eaken Zhani said.

"The survey is unannounced, and it was in response to a complaint we received about the organization," she said.

The Joint Commission does not disclose the complaint itself, but the survey will look into three areas based on the complaint: medical staff standards; provision of care, treatment and services; and leadership. The commission does not release the identities of those who report incidents, Zhani said.

Within the next few weeks, the commission will let the facility know whether it's out of compliance with Joint Commission standards, she said.

Zhani could not say whether the complaint was in regards to anesthesia services. Riverside on April 7 halted contracting with a local group of anesthesia providers and opted for a new management company, Soma Health Partners, a change that sparked community outcry and a YouTube video of an ousted anesthesiologist questioning the new company's background.

Riverside broke ties with Soma on April 16 and is now recruiting new anesthesia providers.

The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 17,000 U.S. health care organizations and programs.

Riverside is accredited by the Joint Commission, which conducts a full survey of sites every 18 to 39 months, Zhani said. Riverside's last full survey date was March 19.

Riverside public relations director Peter Glagola confirmed that the Joint Commission would be on site until Wednesday.

"They don't state why they're here. Just that they received a complaint," Glagola said.

The commission will look into whether the hospital followed the correct processes related to the complaint and is expected to send an observation report in a couple of weeks, he said.

Taking a look The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 17,000 U.S. health care organizations and programs.

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