Geneva General Hospital and Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital Achieve Outstanding Results on Unannounced Joint Commission Accreditation Surveys
Both Geneva General Hospital and Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital have earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™. By demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission‘s national standards for health care quality and safety, both acute care hospitals affiliated with Finger Lakes Health earned three-year accreditations.
“We sought accreditation for our organization as part of our commitment to being the best health system of our size in the nation and to demonstrate our exceptional delivery of patient safety and quality care,” said Jose Acevedo, M.D., M.BA., President & C.E.O. of Finger Lakes Health. “Continuing to earn The Joint Commission’s accreditation is a natural vehicle for demonstrating excellence. The results of these surveys are a testament to our teamwork, mission, vision, and value, and above all our great employees who are second to none.”
The Joint Commission conducted an unannounced, on-site evaluation of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital on August 23 and 24, 2010. Then a second set of surveyors arrived at Geneva General Hospital on August 24, and completed the survey process on August 27, 2010. “The successful accreditation awards resulting from simultaneous unannounced surveys underscore Finger Lakes Health’s dedication to complying with the Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards on a continuous basis. Accreditation with The Joint Commission is a voluntary process focused on demonstrating excellence in and compliance with more than 300 detailed standards related to healthcare delivery, ranging from medication safety and infection prevention to emergency management and environment of care issues relating to our facilities,” explained Jim Hiserodt, Senior Vice President of Operations.
“Above all, the national standards are intended to stimulate continuous, systematic and organization-wide improvement in an organization’s performance and the outcomes of care,” says Mark Pelletier, R.N., M.S, executive director, Hospital Programs, Accreditation and Certification Services, The Joint Commission. “The communities should be proud that both Geneva General Hospital and Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital are focusing on the most challenging goal—to continuously raise quality and safety to higher levels.”
“While on site, the physician, nurse, and engineer surveyors at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital noted the excellence of the nursing staff, overall collaboration demonstrated by staff. They were also were impressed by the information systems and technology supporting patient safety and quality including our electronic medication administration record and bedside medicine verification system and our work towards implementation of computerized physician order entry.
The physician, nurse and engineer surveyors at Geneva General Hospital remarked on several ‘leading practices’ including our outcomes for stroke care and stroke center of excellence, our acute rehab outcomes that place us in the top 3% nationally for four consecutive years, and our work with the New York State breastfeeding collaborative. Surveyors noted the innovation demonstrated by our founding of the Finger Lakes College of Nursing, our RN College. They also noted that our percentage of patients who had “left without being seen” in the Emergency Department is significantly below national standards. Finally, one surveyor noted the “wonderful service” we provide ensuring local and convenient access for dialysis patients assuring patients do not have to travel long distances for life-saving care.
Also, The Joint Commission surveyors noted the commitment Finger Lakes Health demonstrates to employee development. The nurse surveyor remarked that she saw evidence from nearly every employee interviewed that the health system has invested in development and promotion of staff. She cited examples of an employee who began as technologists and had earned master’s degree through the organization’s tuition assistance program, and a staff member who began as a nurse assistant and through our on-site school of practical nursing and the newly formed Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing, had earned her RN degree. The physician surveyor was impressed by a highly experienced and highly educated workforce and also commented on the degree to which he saw evidence of employee development through tuition assistance, flexible work schedules, and subsequent opportunities for internal advancement to retain staff members who had advanced knowledge and skills. They both remarked that in four days nearly every employee they met had somehow benefited from our organization’s commitment to this type of investment in employee development.
The surveyors also identified a unique “best practice” related to emergency preparedness. Surveyors remarked that they had only ever observed at a very select few other hospitals a 96 hour emergency drill. We had conducted a 96 hour drill, practicing how we might manage a severe weather emergency, such as an ice storm. The surveyors felt this was of particular value for our communities that rely heavily upon us. While they had seen many hospitals that do “paper or tabletop” drills, they saw few who had demonstrated such commitment to fully drill how they would care for patients and be prepared to serve the community during such a disaster for an extended period. This is a best practice they plan to share with other hospitals relating to emergency management.
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 9,500 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,300 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. In addition, The Joint Commission also provides certification of more than 1,000 disease-specific care programs, primary stroke centers, and health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.