December 27 2010The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Ethel Lund Medical Center recently earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in ambulatory care (outpatient) organizations. The accreditation award, which is a renewal good for three years, recognizes the Ethel Lund Medical Center’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards. The Ethel Lund Medical Center (ELMC) underwent a rigorous unannounced on-site survey in October 2010. A team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated ELMC for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management. To learn more about ELMC’s accreditation renewal from The Joint Commission, go to http://www.qualitycheck.org/qualityreport.aspx?hcoid=80. Since 1975, The Joint Commission has developed state-of-the-art standards for outpatient ambulatory care organizations. Nearly 1,900 freestanding ambulatory care organizations maintain Joint Commission accreditation. The SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center and S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1987. “Organizations that strive for accreditation in ambulatory care from The Joint Commission are demonstrating the highest commitment to quality and safety to their patients, staff and community,” said Michael Kulczycki, executive director of The Joint Commission’s Ambulatory Care Accreditation Program. “I commend the SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center for successfully achieving this pinnacle and for its dedication to continually improving patient care.” “We recognize Joint Commission accreditation as the Gold Seal for providing safe, high-quality patient care,” said Dr. Janice Sheufelt, MD, SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center Clinic Administrator/Medical Director. “Achieving accreditation from The Joint Commission is a team effort that will bring confidence to our patients and give us a framework to provide the best care possible.” The Joint Commission’s ambulatory care standards address important functions relating to the care of patients and the management of an ambulatory care (outpatient care) organization. The standards are developed in consultation with health care experts, providers, measurement experts and patients. 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 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. The Joint Commission also providers certification of more than 1,700 disease-specific care programs, primary stroke centers and 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.