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SEARHC receives “Gold Seal” accreditation

JUNEAU – SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) once again had a very successful survey demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety. The Joint Commission recognizes SEARHC’s dedication to continuous compliance with their standards, which address important functions relating to the care of patients and the safety of a hospital environment.

SEARHC’s Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital underwent a rigorous four-day, unannounced onsite survey on September 27. During the review, a team of four Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated compliance with hospital standards related to several areas, including emergency management, environment of care, infection prevention and control, leadership, life safety, human resources and medication management. Surveyors also conducted on-site observations and interviews at our outpatient clinics in Sitka, Juneau, Angoon, Kake, Hoonah, Haines, and Klawock. 

The results showed that SEARHC received high marks for excellent nursing practice, quality of care, a clean environment, a strong infection prevention program, strong leadership, and a safe environment. Sustained improvements in quality initiatives since the previous survey in 2015 were also noted.

 The Joint Commission has accredited hospitals for more than 60 years. More than 4,000 general, children’s, long-term acute, psychiatric, rehabilitation, and specialty hospitals currently maintain accreditation from The Joint Commission, awarded for a three-year period. Approximately 360 critical access hospitals also maintain accreditation through a separate program.

“Joint Commission accreditation provides hospitals with the processes needed to improve in a variety of areas from the enhancement of staff education to the improvement of daily business operations,” said Mark G. Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Division of Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. “In addition, our accreditation helps hospitals enhance their risk management and risk reduction strategies. We commend SEARHC for its efforts to become a quality improvement organization.”

 As SEARHC strives to be the provider of choice in Southeast Alaska, employees at every level of the organization continually demonstrate their dedication to providing exceptional care to everyone in the communities it serves. The results of the recent survey by The Joint Commission certainly exemplifies SEARHC’s commitment to quality.

“Accreditation by The Joint Commission validates the great work we’re doing and that 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. As we continue to pursue excellence in our patient care, the guidance that the Joint Commission surveyors provided has been and will continue to be extremely helpful in this journey,” said SEARHC CEO, Charles Clement.