OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL – When Mark Chassin MD was named the CEO of The Joint Commision (TJC), he knew he wanted to lead by example. “As the head of an organization that enforces some of the world’s most arbitrary rules, I hold my staff to an equally ridiculous and arbitrary number of illogical standards,” Dr. Chassin told Gomerblog.
As a means of enforcing the unsupported standards that fill his slush fund, Dr. Chassin ordered a surprise inspection of The Joint Commission offices by The Joint Commission. “If we can’t inspect ourselves, how can we expect to inspect others? That’s been my motto since last Tuesday and I felt like we needed to walk that walk. We’ve been cited by ourselves before and I needed to know that we had improved.”
Unlike typical “surprise” surveys by The Joint Commission where hospitals are given weeks of notice to allow them to completely change how they do everything, the surprise inspection of The Joint Commission offices was performed with a 30-minute notice.
There were 427 Major Findings and 319 Minor Findings with the survey team recommending a complete overhaul of TJC leadership. Among the findings were; opened beverage containers at work stations, no system for logging bathroom breaks, mobile computers almost close to being in traffic areas, items on windowsills, failure to conduct adequate 87 step time-outs prior to meetings, employees with only 1 identifier walking around unescorted, employees noted not washing their hands when moving between paperwork stacks, inadequate turnover with the overnight custodial crew, numerous unlabeled beverages in containers around the coffee maker, expired condiments in the breakroom, unlabeled items in the break room fridge, using pens multiple times instead of disposing them after each use, and numerous staff with expired fishing licenses.
As a result of the findings, The Joint Commission fined itself $3.5 million dollars. Dr. Chassin has announced that to help pay the fine, he will contribute 1/3rd of his $1.5 million annual salary. “I guess I’m technically responsible for all of these assholes so I feel somewhat responsible. Hopefully my annual bonus of 35% of repeat survey collections will bridge the gap. It would be a shame if I couldn’t go back to the Cayman Islands for Christmas again.”
When asked if he thought some of the TJC findings of the survey at TJC were arbitrary and unfounded in science Dr. Chassin was defensive, “Of course there is no evidence to support most of our rules and standards. If our rules and standards actually followed evidence-based medicine, hospitals would already be doing them!”