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Thought Leadership Series 2023

Preparing for a Regulatory Survey: Tips and Best Practices from a Former Surveyor

Wednesday, November 15, 2023
1-2pm Eastern Time

Preparing for a regulatory survey can be a daunting, and at times, overwhelming task; but there are steps you can take to help your organization with survey readiness.  Join us as Laurel McCourt, MD, a former Joint Commission hospital surveyor and consultant with over 18 years’ experience, and Sara Cameron, CPMSM, CPCS, discuss surveyor expectations, tips, and best practices to prepare for a regulatory visit, including how to successfully prepare the medical staff session prior to the survey for better outcomes.

Attendees will have the opportunity to submit their most challenging questions in advance of the webinar that will be addressed by our speakers during the presentation.

At the conclusion of the presentation, attendees will:

  1. Understand a surveyor’s expectations of a regulatory visit.
  2. Identify useful tips to help prepare for a regulatory visit.
  3. Learn how to effectively prepare the medical staff for the survey.



Laurel McCourt, MD

Dr. McCourt’s career in medicine began as a board-certified family medicine physician in a staff model HMO from 1984-1991. During this tenure, she maintained active staff privileges at Fairview General Hospital in Fairview, Ohio and Lakewood Hospital in Lakewood, Ohio. From 1991-2008, she served as the Medical Director of Brunswick Medical Care Center, a satellite facility of Medina General Hospital. From 2008-2009, she held the position of Physician Quality Liaison at Medina General Hospital. During this time, she was instrumental in the development of the OPPE process. This process was implemented and was also submitted and accepted for the Joint Commission’s Leading Practice Library.

In 2004, she began her career with The Joint Commission as a hospital surveyor. She was trained in the Joint Commission’s Comprehensive Manuals for Hospitals, Ambulatory Care Facilities, and Office Based Surgery Practices. In addition, Dr. McCourt served in the Special Survey Unit to investigate complaints for The Joint Commission. She served as a team leader for both deemed and non-deemed hospital systems and has surveyed, and now consulted, at a broad range of organizations from rural community hospitals to large academic medical centers.

In September of 2014, Dr. McCourt transitioned to Joint Commission Resources to begin a career as a consultant and ceased being a surveyor. In this role, which she continued in until the end of 2022, she educated healthcare organizations on the Joint Commission standards implementation and compliance. During her career at The Joint Commission, Dr. McCourt was active in the speaker’s bureau and has given numerous presentations to a variety of audiences including several national meetings. Her presentations include the hospital and ambulatory accreditation standards and the survey process.

Dr. McCourt is currently an independent healthcare consultant with an emphasis on medical staff standards and compliance.

Sara Cameron, CPMSM, CPCS

Director, Professional Services, The Hardenbergh Group

Sara Cameron is Director, Professional Services for The Hardenbergh Group. Sara has over 22 years of experience in healthcare administration and Medical Staff Services. She is dual certified, holds NAMSS Leadership certifications and served as Director at Large on the NAMSS Board of Directors from 2019 – 2021. She has held roles in critical access, academic and tertiary care facilities and brings her vast experience and accomplishments serving large health systems to support clients by imparting best practices to their Medical Staff in the areas of credentialing, privileging, peer review, professionalism, and performance improvement.

Sara’s previous experience includes work as Executive Director of Medical Staff Services, Medical Staff Quality and Graduate Medical Education for a multi-facility system. In this role, she successfully designed and implemented full, system-wide multi-disciplinary professional practice evaluation and clinical peer review. She also achieved standardized credentialing practices across nine hospitals, established the central verification office (CVO) and aligned medical staff bylaws and governance. Sara also has experience with the implementation of EMR  and paperless credentialing practices.

Sara has held several roles in NAMSS state association leadership, presented hundreds of hours of education to medical staff professionals, physicians, hospital leadership and attorneys and authored several publications about medical staff leadership.