SEARHC receives Gold Seal accreditation

SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium again earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety.

The standards address important functions relating to the care of patients and the safety of a hospital environment.

SEARHC underwent an on-site survey earlier this month. A team of Joint Commission surveyors evaluated compliance with standards specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, safety, performance improvement, leadership and medication management at sites in Sitka, Juneau, Haines and Klawock.

The results showed that SEARHC received high marks for excellent nursing practice, quality of care, a clean environment and strong infection prevention program, strong leadership and a safe environment. It was also noted that there was “phenomenal progress made” in quality initiatives since the previous survey in 2013. SEARHC received special acknowledgment in the area of sterilization and newly implemented practices. It includes the use of an iPad application developed by SEARHC that enables substantially better tracking of equipment that requires sterilization. SEARHC has been encouraged to submit the sterilization program it developed to the Joint Commission as a leading best practice for others to follow.

“Accreditation by The Joint Commission validates the great work we’re doing,” SEARHC CEO Charles Clement said in a statement. “… Our providers and the entire staff are meeting the highest standard of excellence within the healthcare community, not only at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital and Ethel Lund Medical Center but our clinics in the region.”

In the statement, SEARHC said this accreditation from The Joint Commission also opens the door for them to attain a Critical Access Hospital designation for Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CAH designation should provide flexibility in the services MEH provides.

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