Healthcare System Accreditations a Matter of Highest Priority

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Accreditations are a high priority at Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System (HRHS), not because we want the “pat on the back,” but because they acknowledge the work our employees do to maintain high standards of care, while helping us realize how we can continuously improve. Perhaps most importantly, accreditations ensure that healthcare organizations are safe, not only for patients, but also for employees, physicians and families.

In recent years, we’ve successfully achieved accreditations in multiple entities. Most recently, last month the Imaging Department of Hutchinson Regional became one of only two hospitals in Kansas to achieve the Diagnostic Center of Excellence, a target that goes beyond the Gold Standard from the American College of Radiology accreditations. 

Kim Jarrell, Regulatory and Accreditation Compliance Manager for Hutchinson Regional, spends her days overseeing the challenging processes required for accreditation. A typical accreditation is only achieved through a rigorous and intensive process that starts with an unannounced visit by a group of surveyors who are certified experts on healthcare quality. The surveyors may spend as long as several days observing processes, examining files and records of the specific department including extensive discussion with employees. 

It may come as a surprise to readers that accreditations are not required; but as Kim points out, to the credit of HRHS, we voluntarily undergo the process to ensure we provide safe, effective, patient-centered care. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), an entity of the Department of Health and Human Services, authorizes four accreditation agencies to survey healthcare organizations receiving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. 

Hutchinson Regional is associated with The Joint Commission (TJC), headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Il, that accredits more than 22,000 hospitals and healthcare organizations throughout the nation. 

Accreditation through TJC provides what is called “Deeming Authority” which essentially approves Hutchinson Regional to be paid for receiving reimbursement for Medicare and Medicaid patients. Current accreditations and certifications for HRHS through TJC include the hospital accreditation (Hutchinson Regional Medical Center), home care accreditation (Hospice & HomeCare of Reno County) advanced certification for the Primary Stroke Center, and the Perinatal Care certification. 

Other accreditations granted to Hutchinson Regional by national accreditation agencies include: 

  • The Hutchinson Regional Laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists. 
  • The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) has certified the Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Program. 
  • The American College of Surgeons has certified Hutchinson Regional Medical Center as a Level 3 Trauma Center. 
  • The American College of Radiology (ACR) has granted the Diagnostic Imaging Center for Excellence (DICOE) to the hospital’s Imaging Department. 
  • The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) has certified the Cardiac and Pulmonary Department at Hutchinson Regional. 
  • The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) has accredited the Ultrasound and ECO Unit within the hospital. 
  • The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has certified the Sleep Lab within Hutchinson Regional Medical Center. 

Most accreditations are valid for two to three years. 

 “Our goal every day is to do more than the bare minimum in everything we do, which may be a reason for the high number of accreditations achieved by Hutchinson Regional,” Kim said. 

Well-deserved congratulations and appreciation to Kim, who facilitates the application process, along with our team of dedicated and visionary staff members who work in tandem to take Hutchinson Regional to the next level of excellence. 

by Ken Johnson, President & CEO of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System 

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