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SEARHC receives “Gold Seal” accreditation

Once again earned accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety


JUNEAU, November 18, 2015 – SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) once again 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. The accreditation award recognizes SEARHC’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s standards. The standards address important functions relating to the care of patients and the safety of a hospital environment.

SEARHC underwent a rigorous on-site survey earlier this month. A team of Joint Commission surveyors evaluated compliance with standards specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, safety, performance improvement, leadership and medication management at sites in Sitka, Juneau, Haines, and Klawock.

The results showed that SEARHC received high marks for excellent nursing practice, quality of care, a clean environment and strong infection prevention program, strong leadership, and a safe environment. It was also noted that there was “phenomenal progress made” in quality initiatives since the previous survey in 2013. SEARHC received special acknowledgment in the area of sterilization and newly implemented practices. It includes the use of an iPad application developed by SEARHC that enables substantially better tracking of equipment that requires sterilization. SEARHC has been encouraged to submit the sterilization program it developed to The Joint Commission as a leading best practice for others to follow.

This accreditation from The Joint Commission also opens the door for SEARHC to attain a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation for Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (MEH) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CAH designation will provide flexibility in the services MEH provides.

As SEARHC strives to be the provider of choice in Southeast Alaska, employees at every level of the organization continually demonstrate their dedication to providing exceptional care to everyone in the communities it serves. The results of the recent survey by The Joint Commission certainly exemplifies SEARHC’s commitment to quality.

"Accreditation by The Joint Commission validates the great work we’re doing and that our providers and the entire staff are meeting the highest standard of excellence within the healthcare community, not only at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital and Ethel Lund Medical Center but our clinics in the region. As we continue to pursue excellence in our patient care, the guidance that the Joint Commission surveyors provided has been and will continue to be extremely helpful in this journey,” said SEARHC CEO, Charles Clement.


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