Tennessee Valley Healthcare System
Veteran program earns rare achievements
Tennessee Valley Healthcare System’s substance abuse and post-traumatic treatment center earned three-year accreditation for its health care services from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
During the accreditation, the Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program earned two exemplary ratings and had zero findings.
The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities accredits more than 60,000 health programs throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia, but only 3 percent of programs surveyed receive zero findings.
“Zero findings means we met or exceeded the standards required for accreditation,” said Dr. Elizabeth Burke, acting deputy director of outpatient mental health. “It usually takes a program two or three inspections to get zero findings because there are more than 100 standards to meet, and most programs will never get an exemplary notation. To receive one exemplary notation is rarer than earning ‘zero findings,’ but to earn two exemplary notations is just astonishing.”
Burke said accreditation matters to Veterans because it distinguishes which health care programs have a strong emphasis in quality service and care.
Exemplary ratings are reserved for health care programs that produce extraordinary clinical results or have an innovative practice that can be shared nationwide.
According to the 20-page accreditation results, the Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program excelled in “infection prevention and control, training, and developing national best practices to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Our COVID-19 practices include multitiered screening processes such as temperature checks, verbal screenings and COVID-19 testing before admission,” said Dr. Amy Best, acting program manager. “We would test the Veteran again upon admission to ensure that they did not have COVID-19 infection. From there, the Veterans wore masks in all common areas and received their health care virtually while in their room.”
The second exemplary rating was for the “highly innovative and comprehensive Whole Health initiative approach,” surveyors wrote in the review. “Its efforts not only enabled the rehabilitation program to remain open during COVID-19, but also improved the quality of care for Veterans.”
Whole Health is a philosophical approach to health care that empowers and equips Veterans to take charge of their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Veterans complete an individualized health plan that focuses on their body, surroundings, interpersonal relationships, personal development, and mindfulness.
Best said the program prepared a year in advance for the accreditation survey.
“Our quality department team played an integral role in helping us,” she said. “They conducted a mock survey that included interviewing staff, patients, and leadership, as well as a physical review of the program to see if they could make adjustments and improvements.”
The Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program is a 34-bed unit located at the Alvin C. York campus in Murfreesboro. It’s a voluntary rehabilitation center that specializes in substance use disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. To learn more, visit the program’s website.