UT Health Center reaccredited by Joint Commission

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler has been notified that it has been reaccredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The Joint Commission evaluates U.S. hospitals and accredits them based on their quality of patient care and commitment to patient safety.

“The fact that the Health Center did so well in this new, tougher accreditation process that is based on an unannounced survey shows that our employees are dedicated to fulfilling our mission of providing excellent patient care,” said UTHSCT President Dr. Kirk A. Calhoun.

“The unannounced surveys reflect the Joint Commission’s emphasis in recent years on the need for hospitals to be in a constant state of readiness for surveyors’ visits. In addition, surveyors now select a number of patients and trace the quality of care they received from their admittance to the hospital until they were discharged,” he said.

The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits almost 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, the Joint Commission is the nation’s premiere standards-setting and accrediting body in the field of health care. Since 1951, it has maintained state-of-the-art standards that focus on improving the quality and safety of care provided by health care organizations.

“We were told that we had great participation from our physicians. The surveyors were impressed with the leadership shown by Dr. Calhoun and Vice President for Patient Care Services Anthe Caruso and their commitment to the Joint Commission process,” said Sandra Fly, director of Quality Services.

“The Health Center did not receive any recommendations for improvement in the areas of infection control and the use of unapproved abbreviations for medical procedures and medications, both areas the Joint Commission considers very important. The recommendations for improvement we received were not patient care issues,” Fly said.

The Joint Commission evaluates not only possible deficiencies, but also how to improve the overall organization. Joint Commission surveyors inspect a hospital once every three years during an unannounced visit and determine if it continues to meet accreditation standards. Health care organizations that are not accredited can lose their eligibility to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

NOTICE: Protected health information is subject to electronic disclosure.