ECH earns national Joint Commission accreditation

ELIZABETHTOWN -Elizabethtown Community Hospital has earned Joint Commission accreditation by demonstrating compliance with national standards for health care quality and safety in hospitals. The accreditation award recognizes the hospital's dedication to continuous compliance with Joint Commission standards.

ECH underwent a rigorous, unannounced, on-site survey on Feb. 7 and 8. A team of Joint Commission surveyors evaluated the hospital for compliance with quality and safety standards specific to the needs of patients, oversight of the hospital's buildings, organization leadership, and documentation standards. Surveyors inspect patient charts, physician credentials and documents related to each piece of equipment within the facility - everything from sophisticated radiology and lab equipment to fire extinguishers.

The hospital's emergency procedures are reviewed, along with information management procedures and performance improvement processes. The facility was also inspected for compliance with Joint Commission requirements of its National Patient Safety Goals including: infection prevention and control; use of patient identifiers; and medication management.

"In achieving Joint Commission accreditation, ECH has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients," says Mark Pelletier, executive director, hospital program accreditation and certification services, Joint Commission. "Accreditation is a voluntary process and I commend ECH for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves."

"With Joint Commission inspection and accreditation, we highlight our facility's investment in quality," Hospital Administrator Rod Boula said. "Joint Commission accreditation helps create a culture of excellence. Achieving Joint Commission accreditation, once again, indicates that our hospital places a great emphasis on maintaining quality, service excellence and continually improving the care that our staff provides."

The Joint Commission's hospital standards address important functions relating to the care of patients and the management of hospitals. The standards are developed in consultation with health care experts, physicians, measurement experts and patients.

There are 1,324 critical access hospitals in the United States; 250 of those are accredited by Joint Commission. There are 13 CAH in New York state, five of which are accredited. Of those five, ECH is the only one north of Albany and east of Lake Ontario.

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