CDH, VNA/Hospice Awarded Accreditation

NORTHAMPTON — By demonstrating compliance with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Orga-nization’s (JCAHO) national standards for health care quality and safety, Cooley Dickinson Hospital (CDH) and the VNA/Hospice Alliance (VNA/H) last week received final results that both organizations, under the Cooley Dickinson Health Care Corporation umbrella, received accreditation through 2006.
The JCAHO on-site survey of CDH and VNA/H occurred August 5-7 and August 5-8 respectively.

“Cooley Dickinson is committed to complying with and exceeding JCAHO national standards for quality care and patient safety,” said hospital president and CEO Craig N. Melin. “Our staff and physicians are on a journey from providing very good care to providing great care. Achieving these excellent scores affirms our focus and propels us forward.”

Speaking on behalf of the VNA/Hospice Alliance, Executive Director Carla A. Braveman said, “we are very pleased with the results of the survey. The process affirms that the VNA/Hospice Alliance is moving in the right direction. It is very gratifying to have our employees’ hard work and dedication to patients recognized by an outside, impartial organization.”

On a 100-point scale, CDH received a score of 92. Approximately 64{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of hospitals receive this score or higher. The VNA/H received a score of 96. Approximately 42{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of home care agencies receive this score or higher.

“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, “ said Kurt Patton, executive director, Hospital Accreditation Program, Joint Commission. “This community should be proud that Cooley Dickinson Hospital and the VNA/Hospice Alliance are focusing on the most challenging goal: to continuously raise quality and safety to higher levels.”

Both organizations were surveyed on topics such as patient safety, performance improvement, emergency preparedness, infection control, environment of care (security, life safety and emergency preparedness in the hospital and health care settings) patient rights, pain assessment, leadership and human resources.
Surveyors praised hospital staff on the following initiatives:

Implementation of a sensory integration room to help psychiatric patients relax after stressful situations and reduce their anxiety;
Patient care rounds on the medical/surgical unit where clinicians collaborate on each patient’s care plan;
Childbirth teaching sheets allow patients and family members identify their educational needs;
Cooley’s Joint Replacement Center model of care and physician best practices where patients have surgery on a Monday, recuperate together with rehabilitation while building camaraderie and support, and are discharged on Friday; and
Annual evaluation of the hospital’s environment of care plan, including praise of the hospital’s emergency preparedness plan.
For the VNA/H, the survey included four home visits with VNA staff and three home visits with Hospice staff. The surveyor recognized the home care and hospice services for the at-home care patients receive, as well as for accomplishments in the following areas:

The VNA/H policies and procedures clearly reflect the operations of the agency and provide a resource for staff;
Implementation of patient-safety goals ensure that patients are treated with respect and that every effort is made to ensure patients receive safe care;
Pain assessment and intervention efforts recognize the importance of pain control for patients entrusted to the VNA/H for care;
Palliative care program provides comfort to patients who are not yet appropriate for hospice or end-of-life care.
The performance improvement process identifies areas needing attention and focuses resources on effective and creative solutions.
JCAHO accreditation is maintained by organizations like Cooley Dickinson Health Care by studying and implementing policy and procedure improvements that are mandated in advance and based on nationwide best practices. Surveys are conducted every three years.

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