Hilo Medical Center Awarded Gold Seal of Approval for National Accreditation from the Joint Commission

Hilo, February 4, 2014 – Hilo Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in hospitals. The 3-year accreditation award recognizes HMC’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards.  

HMC underwent a rigorous, unannounced on-site survey January 28-31. A team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated HMC for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.   “I’d just like to thank our dedicated team of professionals at Hilo Medical Center,” said Tandy Newsome, RN, Quality Manager at Hilo Medical Center. “Whether their job is cook or nurse, physician or executive, all of our employees have the same goal when they come to work:  to help provide the best possible environment and care for our patients.”  

“I’ve been a nurse at Hilo Medical Center for almost 25 years,” said Newsome. “The improvements we have made in the last several years have been no less than remarkable. We want to assure our community that patient safety is our top priority, and maintaining The Joint Commission accreditation is one way to accomplish this.”       

"In achieving Joint Commission accreditation, Hilo Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients," says Mark G. Pelletier, R.N., M.S., chief operating officer, Division of Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. “Accreditation is a voluntary process and I commend Hilo Medical Center for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”  

"Joint Commission accreditation provides us a framework to take our organization to the next level and helps create a culture of excellence,” said Howard N. Ainsley, East Hawaii Regional CEO of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. “Achieving accreditation, for our organization, is an acknowledgement of our efforts to continually improve the care we provide. I thank everyone for their commitment to our hospital, patients and community.”  

“I couldn’t have asked for a better survey,” said Dan Brinkman, Chief Nurse Executive at Hilo Medical Center. “The Joint Commission is pushing hospitals towards a culture of zero failure and high reliability and I believe we are on the right side of the spectrum.”  

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 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs such as stroke, heart failure, joint replacement and stroke rehabilitation, and 400 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.   

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About Hilo Medical Center
As the Big Island's leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care, Hilo Medical Center (HMC) delivers a full range of services and programs. Our 20-acre campus consists of 276 beds located throughout the 142-bed acute hospital, 22-bed behavioral health facility and 112-bed long-term care facility. We have 1,000 employees and 250 physicians, representing 33 specialties. As a medical center, we have a network of ten outpatient clinics offering primary and specialty care. The hospital's Level III Trauma Center includes the second busiest emergency room in the state, providing 24-hour care to more than 42,000 patients annually.   

HMC is the recipient of Mountain Pacific Quality Health's Quality Achievement Award. We were recognized in 2012 by the insurer HMSA as Hawaii's leading hospital in improving quality and reducing the cost of providing care. HMC was also named 2012 Press Ganey Top Improver Award winner for patient satisfaction for improvements. In 2013, we received the American Heart Association Gold Award for cardiac care. We were also recognized for quality long term care by Providigm for Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement Accredited Facility and Embracing Quality Award for the Prevention of Hospital Readmissions. Our long term care met the requirements for the American Health Care Association's Three Tier Level Quality Initiative Recognition Program.  

In 2013, HMC's EMR team, HealthConnect, attained the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) Meaningful Use Stage 1. In addition, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) recognized HMC for achieving Stage 7 on the EMR Adoption ModelSM.  

We are part of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, a public entity established in 1996 by the State of Hawaii to fulfill the promise to provide quality, hometown healthcare. For more information, go to: www.hilomedicalcenter.org.
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