Quality & Patient Safety

The importance of avoiding denial of accreditation

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, September 1, 2016

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Keeping a hospital compliant and survey ready is a difficult, endless, and often frustrating task. One of the difficulties can be impressing the importance of accreditation to those who aren't immersed in it on a daily basis. As such, it can help to remember what the consequences of losing your accreditation are.

Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) in Seattle was recently denied full accreditation by The Joint Commission. The facility had already received a "preliminary denial of accreditation" status after a surprise survey in May revealed the facility was noncompliant with 29 standards and had conditions "that posed a threat to patients or other individuals served," according to a Seattle Times article. In June, The Joint Commission upgraded VMMC's status to contingent accreditation, meaning that the immediate threat to life had been resolved though several issues still remain.

The Joint Commission didn't provide details of the dangerous conditions, although VMMC recently had to alert 650 dialysis patients that they may be at risk for hepatitis B after the hospital failed to properly run screens.

Victoria Fennel, PhD, RN-BC, CPHQ, director of accreditation and clinical compliance at Compass Clinical Consulting, says educating the people in your facility on compliance and holding them accountable is key to avoid accreditation denial.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Briefings on Accreditation and Quality.

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