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DHS news release

January 7, 2008


Media contact: Patricia Feeny 503-945-9073
Program contact: Ted Ficken 503-945-0916


State hospital receives conditional accreditation from Joint Commission




The Oregon State Hospital is just one step away from receiving the gold standard seal of approval for quality and safety for U.S. hospitals.


The Joint Commission, which is the nation's predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care, conducted an unannounced survey in August 2006 and identified several areas where OSH needed to make improvements.


OSH developed a corrective plan to address issues identified by the commission, including the need for increased hand-washing when giving medications; the discontinued use of unapproved abbreviations and acronyms; improved safety of using medications; and improved assessment of patient pain.


Oregon state officials received notification that the hospital has satisfied all but one of the 18 requirements for improvement and, therefore, has been granted conditional accreditation.


"Oregon is committed to a plan of continuous improvement in mental health care," said Maynard Hammer, acting superintendent. "We set the bar high for our quality and safety standards, and the external review by the commission confirms that we are focusing on areas that contribute greatly to patient health, well-being and safety."


Hammer said that the remaining area needing improvement is related to incomplete medical records. For example, surveyors noted incomplete patient discharge summaries or summaries that still needed to be signed.


"Staff are working diligently to update and complete the records, and I am confident the hospital will be in compliance when the surveyors return this spring," Hammer said. "Our staff is committed to providing quality care to our patients, and their work is essential to meeting the hospital's goals."


The 2007 Oregon Legislature authorized funding for two new state-operated psychiatric facilities. The Salem facility is scheduled to open in 2011 and the Junction City facility in 2013. Oregon's goal is to create an integrated, community-based health care system that focuses on mental wellness.


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