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Why Accreditation Matters

When it comes to quality healthcare, you probably want to know whether your hospital is doing the right things-and doing them well. That's why you may be interested in something called accreditation. It's a way for hospitals to make sure they're meeting national quality standards when it comes to your care and safety.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (The Joint Commission) is a national nonprofit group that accredits thousands of healthcare organizations, including some 4,500 hospitals in the United States. Most hospitals seek this accreditation, though it's not required. But by doing so, they're making a statement that they're willing to do more than the minimum to meet government regulations for a hospital organization. They're willing to go through that extra step to ensure the quality and safety of the services they're providing. Accreditation isn't automatically renewed. Hospitals must reapply and be evaluated again to remain accredited.

The Joint Commission has established more than 250 published standards that focus on safety and quality of healthcare in areas such as infection control, medication management, medical errors prevention, and how a hospital verifies that doctors and nurses are qualified and competent. To be accredited, hospitals must incorporate these established standards into their day-to-day practices.

At least every three years, The Joint Commission dispatches an expert team of healthcare professionals to conduct an on-site hospital survey, which includes interviews with senior hospital leaders, doctors, nurses, and patients. The surveyors also track patients' hospital stays and follow the course of treatment-from the emergency department, for example, to post-surgical recovery, and all services in between. Erlanger Health System is fully accredited.

Many of our programs and services are also accredited by national organizations. For example, all of our clinical labs are accredited by the College of American Pathologists. Read more about our accreditations at www.erlanger.org/accredit.

Of course, we're always committed to providing the best healthcare services in the region. But these independent assessments validate the strength of our commitment to providing the highest quality of care. And it's one more reason why more and more people are trusting Erlanger for all of their healthcare needs.