Womack Army Medical Center services were unaffected by a security suspension last week for surgical services, a spokeswoman said.

A safety suspension allows a department to take “an organized break from its standard job to review and discuss areas of patient and process safety,” said Shannon Lynch, spokesperson for Womack Army Medical Center.

The focus of Monday’s suspension, Lynch said, was “supply chain operations within surgical departments.”

“As a highly reliable organization, we focus on failure; we’re paying continued attention to variance which could potentially lead to a bigger problem, ”she said. “A safety shutdown allows all staff to consciously think through and adjust standardized processes that reduce long-term deviations. ”

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Non-core functions of surgical services came to a halt during the suspension to focus on processes, procedures and techniques to narrow the gaps with increased shared understanding, she said.

No departments were affected by the one-day suspension, and it did not delay surgeries, which were reduced to being urgent or urgent due to COVID-19.

Womack Army Medical Center closed in March 2014 in response to findings from a team from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, a national non-profit organization that accredits more than 20,000 healthcare organizations and programs. .

The findings of the Joint Commission were released a year later, which noted 19 shortcomings related to Womack’s accreditation in 2014 and the two-day suspension in March 2014.

Among the shortcomings, the commission found that Womack had incompetent staff and insufficient reduction in infection risks associated with medical equipment, devices and supplies.

In April 2014, the military launched an internal investigation to find out why the hospital had 19 impairments and made the decision to relieve the hospital’s commander at the time, Col. Steven Brewster.

After the Joint Commission returned to Womack in June and August 2014 and continued to find deficiencies, it noted that during a visit in November 2014, all deficiencies had been brought into compliance.

Since November 2014, Womack Army Medical Center has regularly received accreditation through the Joint Commission, with no shortcomings against Womack Army Medical Center, noted in eight different quality reports between November 8, 2016 and September 16 of this year.

The American College of Surgeons also recognized the Womack Army Medical Center in November 2019 by accrediting it as a level III trauma center.

The latest Joint Commission Womack Army Medical Center investigation took place February 24-28, 2020, and the hospital received accreditation on February 29, 2020.

The accreditation is still valid.

The Joint Commission conducted a site visit to the Womack Army Medical Center on July 9.

Lynch said the security suspension held this week was unrelated to that visit, where she said officials from Womack Army Medical Center were able to demonstrate their commitment to the pillars of high principles. reliability, which are “the commitment of leadership, a culture of safety and a continuous improvement process.”

The standdown held this week, she said, “was process improvement at its best; review the procurement processes within the surgical services arena. ”

He emphasized the principles of “sensitivity to the operation review processes with surgical departments to ensure system accountability when reviewing processes to eliminate risks and redundancies”.

“The collective goal of leadership (Womack Army Medical Center) and the outcome of the security suspension is to embrace a culture of security, continually review processes, stimulate collaborative communication while taking a proactive approach to continuous process improvement, ”said Lynch.

Editor Rachael Riley can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3528.

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