University Health Services (UHS) has achieved its highest accreditation score ever from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Heathcare Organizations, earning 99 points out of 100 after a rigorous three-day inspection.
The inspection, which took place Feb. 21-23, covers all aspects of the operation of a health care organization, broken down into 25 different categories. UHS received the top “total compliance” scores in all but three categories.
“It’s the best we’ve ever done,” said UHS Director David Rosenthal. “They look at everything from A to Z, including the caring for patients, the safety of the building, as well as infection control.”
While the Joint Commission has no regulatory authority itself, its accreditation has become accepted by the health care industry as an important measure of the quality of a health care organization’s operations. Established in 1951, the commission inspects and accredits 19,000 health care organizations in the United States.
The commission’s inspections cover many areas that are regulated by state, federal, and local governments, as well as areas important to insurance companies. Regulators use the commission’s survey process in determining an organization’s eligibility to participate in government programs such as Medicare. By receiving the joint commission’s stamp of approval, Rosenthal said, an organization is pretty much assured it will comply with applicable regulations.
“It essentially serves as a guide for us to ensure we’re in compliance,” Rosenthal said.
The triennial review, conducted by two inspectors, involves UHS’s entire staff and looks back at operations for a year. In addition to day-to-day operations, the organization is also interested in efforts to improve. Rosenthal said UHS’s work to improve access to mental health care for students gained high marks.