Accreditation With Accolades
Surprise inspections by the nation’s premier hospital watchdog group were no obstacle to HHC facilities assessed during the last two years. The public hospitals and nursing homes all achieved full accreditation with ease and praise.
More than a dozen expert surveyors from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, an independent agency that evaluates hospitals nationwide, conducted unannounced visits to nine HHC hospitals, two long term care facilities and the corporation’s behavioral health programs. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive, reflecting the systems’ state of high quality, reliability, compliance with hospital best practices and good management.
“The city’s public hospital system has come a long way and has redefined the way it provides affordable health care for all New Yorkers with a strong focus on quality and excellence,” said HHC Executive Vice President Ramanathan Raju, M.D., MBA. “Our hospitals are meeting and exceeding high standards of care and we are competing head to head with many top medical institutions.”
HHC hospitals received an average of only 4.3 requirements for improvement (RFIs), the new measurement standard of the accreditation group – and well below the national hospital average of 7 RFIs. HHC’s long term care facilities also ranked tops and received an average of only 1.5 RFIs compared to the nationwide average of 4.8 received by most nursing homes.
The commission evaluates dozens of programs and services, as well as patient safety standards -- one of the categories considered particularly indicative of hospital quality. HHC again received high praise in the area of patient safety, in recognition of the public hospital system goals to improve communications among caregivers, reduce falls, prevent medication errors and reduce hospital acquired infections.
Improving patient safety is still a struggle for many other hospitals across the country. According to the commission, nearly one quarter of all RFIs issued this year were generated as a result of failure to comply with patient safety standards.