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HomeNewsArchivesLuis Hospital to Receive Stamp of Approval, Officials Say

Luis Hospital to Receive Stamp of Approval, Officials Say

April 27, 2007 — Following a surprise inspection by a health care organization, Juan F. Luis Hospital will be re-accredited, hospital CEO Gregory Calliste announced Wednesday.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the main hospital and health care accreditation organization in the United States, came for an unannounced inspection visit Monday, staying for three days to evaluate the hospital.
Hospital spokesman Gregory Davila said the inspection team consisted of a doctor and a registered nurse, who each focused on their respective areas of expertise. Davila said the previous accreditation inspection in 2004 was announced, but they were told at the time the next one would be unannounced. Inspectors verbally informed hospital officials re-accreditation was assured, but the official report will not be out until June.
“We’ve been expecting an inspection at any time since January 1,” Davila said. “They identified a few areas they would like to see improvement in. But there was nothing too detrimental.”
Hospitals are accredited every three years, while laboratories are accredited every two years. The hospital's cardiac catheterization laboratory, clinical laboratory and hemodialysis laboratory will all be up for re-accreditation in August.
There are many benefits to accreditation, including simple reassurance that the care you can expect from the hospital meets national standards. Accreditation has financial benefits, too.
As a stamp of approval, once you are approved it says a lot to insurers, and it affects the Medicaid and Medicare dollars you receive, so it is a big, serious thing,” said Davila.
Accreditation makes it easier to hire professionals to work at the hospital, makes the hospital more competitive in the market, and allows the hospital to take advantage of education and training offered by JCAHO. By the same token, had the accreditation been lost, millions in Medicaid and Medicare funds would have been jeopardized.
Upon learning of the successful inspection, Delegate Donna Christensen sent word of congratulations to the hospital.
“As a former member of the staff and the administration, I know how hard everyone works before, during and after accreditation to ensure that our hospital meets the highest standards," Christensen said. "Your re-accreditation is a testament to your hard work and dedication.”
Davila credited line workers and hospital staff at all levels for the successful inspection.
“Everyone played a role,” Davila said. “Our housekeepers, the folks in the laundry, all our line staff and employees played an important part in our efforts to get re-accredited.”
While an overall success, the inspection did find some minor problems. This time around the hospital was cited for staff not following written procedures, for repairs to some doors, and for leaving a hypodermic needle unattended. The hospital has 90 days to come up with a plan to address those issues.
When the hospital was successfully re-accredited in 2004, the JCAHO cited aspects of pneumonia and cardiac care as needing improvement. Patients in the Virgin Islands were considerably less likely than in the nation as a whole to receive the most appropriate antibiotics soon after coming to the hospital for treatment. The hospital was also cited for not performing as many heart and lung function tests as is typical stateside for patients with heart or lung problems. Hospital officials made no mention of these concerns when discussing what areas need improvement, suggesting these have been addressed.
The JCAHO’s website has a wealth of information. You can put in the name of any accredited hospital and look at the specific strengths and weaknesses found in that hospital’s most recent inspection. The website mentions the April inspection of Juan F. Luis, but that report is not yet available online.
Established in 1951, JCAHO is an independent, nonprofit organization that evaluates and accredits nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.
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