The Joint Commission provides initial response to JCMC patient fall complaint

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) - The Joint Commission is now reviewing a family's concerns linked to their 89-year-old mother's fall inside a Johnson City Medical Center operating room.

Melba Lowe's family provided us with the accrediting organization's response to their concerns, outlined in an email.

"The Joint Commission takes seriously any information about one of our accredited organizations," the response said. "We will review your concerns and determine if we can take any action. Our options include:

• Continue to evaluate this organization

• Ask the organization to provide The Joint Commission with a written response regarding your concerns

• Evaluate your concerns during an onsite review at this organization

As we reported last month, the moderately sedated patient fell off her stretcher during a routine endoscopy in July 2016. The health system's CEO confirmed someone looked away from Lowe in the moments before the fall, but added the health system is now better prepared to prevent this kind of incident in the future.

"If any opportunities for improvement are identified, we will work with the organization to correct practices and systems so that they meet or exceed our standards," The Joint Commission's response said. "You should understand that our purpose is to help improve the quality and safety of care. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. While the evaluation or actions we may take cannot affect the care one received in the past, the information you provided is used to improve the quality of care delivered by our accredited organizations."

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