Carroll Co. General Hospital improves its rating Accreditation panel awards highest grade after evaluation appeal

January 21, 1996|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

A national agency that monitors health care facilities has upgraded its ranking of Carroll County General Hospital, after the hospital's appeal of its evaluation last spring.

In a decision issued Jan. 2, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) awarded Carroll County General its highest level of accreditation. Fewer than 4 percent of hospitals reviewed by the commission meet this standard, hospital officials said.

"That's really good news for us," said Pam Shafer, Carroll County General's assistant vice president for quality assurance and risk management.

"It's a nice reflection of people's hard work and commitment to the patients."

The JCAHO, based in Chicago, is a private, nonprofit group that monitors most U.S. hospitals' compliance with national health care standards.

It renewed Carroll County General's accreditation for three years after an evaluation in May, but ordered the hospital to correct deficiencies in certain areas.

Carroll County General appealed JCAHO's finding that the hospital did not meet standard guidelines for restraint and seclusion of patients.

The commission requires that any order to restrain or seclude a patient must address a specific incident and include time limits.

The JCAHO report said that in one incident Carroll County General staff gave a general order to restrain a patient as needed.

"We were able to show that was not the intent of the order," Ms. Shafer said. "It was specific to a certain clinical event."

The JCAHO's review of Carroll County General last spring also showed deficiencies in the areas of medical record keeping, monitoring of unused drugs and documentation of physicians' credentials.

The commission ordered the hospital to submit written progress reports in the three areas. But it has withdrawn the order because the hospital has developed policies and procedures to correct the deficiencies, Ms. Shafer said.

Carroll County General's next JCAHO review is scheduled for 1998.

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