December 05, 2012 at 11:36 AM EST
Accreditation of Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital Marks Joint Commission Milestone
Joint Commission Announces 20,000 Accredited and Certified Organizations

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL -- (Marketwire) -- 12/05/12 -- Today Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital, a hospital dedicated to the treatment of patients with stroke, brain injury and other debilitating conditions in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was announced as the 20,000th organization to have currently achieved accreditation or certification from The Joint Commission. This event marks a significant milestone and symbolizes the tremendous commitment to quality care and patient safety by all 20,000 accredited and certified health care organizations and their dedicated staff members.

The Joint Commission was founded in 1951 to improve the safety and quality of health care for the public, but that goal would have been impossible without the commitment of health care organizations to achieving this shared goal through accreditation and certification. Seeking accreditation and certification from The Joint Commission is a voluntary choice to achieve the highest standards for quality and safety for the delivery of health care. Health care organizations awarded with a Gold Seal of ApprovalĀ® for receiving accreditation and certification from The Joint Commission aspire to excel in providing the highest quality and value of care through compliance with state-of-the-art standards and survey processes.

"Because of the efforts of Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital and all of the 20,000 accredited and certified health care organizations that have chosen to meet The Joint Commission's high standards for health care quality, millions of Americans have the opportunity to receive better, safer care," says Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., president, The Joint Commission. "I would like to thank each of our 20,000 accredited and certified organizations for undertaking the challenge of improving health care with us, and ask that others continue to work with us through accreditation and certification as we strive to achieve our vision that all people always experience the safest, highest quality, best-value health care across all settings."

Each time The Joint Commission raised the bar on quality and patient safety, its accredited and certified organizations have met the challenge, to the benefit of the patients and individuals they serve. As part of The Joint Commission's accreditation and certification relationship, health care organizations have implemented important standards to improve patient-centered communications and bridge gaps in culture and language, as well as National Patient Safety Goals that address specific safety concerns, including infection prevention and medication safety.

"Our decision to be accredited by The Joint Commission was based on their ability to establish standards that met the needs of our hospital for high quality patient care before the first patient was admitted," says Sharon Smeltzer, chief executive officer and administrator, Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital, which was surveyed by The Joint Commission on November 12 - 14, 2012. "The comprehensive assessment and education from our Joint Commission surveyors helped us assess our processes to ensure the delivery of safe, high quality patient care for measurable best practice outcomes. As our hospital grows we will continue to use The Joint Commission's accreditation process to validate our rehabilitation hospital as a program of excellence."

"I would like to personally congratulate Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital on its accreditation, and each and every one of our 20,000 accredited and certified health care organizations that have worked hard to be awarded our Gold Seal of Approval," says Mark G. Pelletier, RN, M.S., interim chief operating officer, Accreditation & Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. "The staff of every Joint Commission accredited and certified organization should feel honored to count themselves among this elite group of health care providers that continue to save lives and produce positive outcomes by improving their quality of patient care."

The Joint Commission's 20,000 accredited and certified organizations are composed of health care organizations and clinical programs across the continuum of care. Hospitals, critical access hospitals, and providers of home care services make up the largest segments of organizations that seek Joint Commission accreditation to help strengthen their patient safety and quality of care provided. In addition, The Joint Commission accredits laboratories, ambulatory care facilities, long-term care facilities, office-based surgery centers and behavioral health care organizations. The Joint Commission also provides certification of health care staffing services and more than 2,400 organizations have earned Joint Commission certification in programs devoted to improving the care of patients with chronic diseases and conditions such as stroke, joint replacement, diabetes and heart failure.

For information about Joint Commission accreditation and certification, please visit www.jointcommission.org or call 630.792.5000.

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 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs such as stroke, heart failure, joint replacement and stroke rehabilitation, and 400 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. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

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