Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
March 10, 2009 Issue
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CATSKILL REGIONAL MEDICAL Center, in Harris, has received full accreditation from the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), after being conditionally accredited for a bulk of the year.

Hospital receives Joint Commission accreditation

By Jeanne Sager
HARRIS — The county’s only hospital has been given a clean bill of health by the nation’s leading accrediting agency.
The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has notified Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC) CEO Steve Ruwoldt that it’s upgrading the hospital to full accreditation.
The hospital’s status for the bulk of the year has been “conditionally accredited.”
According to JCAHO, “conditional Accreditation is awarded to a health care organization that is not in substantial compliance with the standards, as usually evidenced by a count of the number of standards identified as not compliant at the time of survey.
“The organization must remedy identified problem areas and subsequently undergo an on-site follow-up survey.”
In particular, Ruwoldt said CRMC was cited earlier this year for a lack of documentation on some of its processes (rather than a lack of quality in patient care).
Remedies put in place were reviewed during several site visits, and JCAHO officials were satisfied with the work that was done.
“I was told this was the best re-survey he’s ever done in five years,” Ruwoldt said. “Normally after a conditional accreditation, the administration gets on board, but we’ve got it all the way down to the rank and file.”
According to JCAHO’s Website, “accredited is awarded to a health care organization that is in compliance with all standards at the time of the on-site survey or has successfully addressed requirements for improvement within 90 days following the survey.”
The non-profit’s declaration that a hospital is accredited is supposed to serve as a marker of quality for patients and practitioners looking to make use of the hospital.
Ruwoldt said it’s good news all around for the hospital.
Recent data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services showed CRMC’s mortality rates for heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia ranked among the region’s best.
Measuring 30-day mortality rates for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia, CRMC’s rates ranked lower than the national average and in the top three for all hospitals in our region.
“We’re doing quite well,” Ruwoldt noted.

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