Five Joint Commission surveyors visited AltaPointe Health Systems’ locations in Mobile, Baldwin, and Washington counties this August. AltaPointe voluntarily submits to audits by the Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States. AltaPointe first became accredited in 2002 and was the first behavioral healthcare organization in Alabama to earn that designation.
Every three years, a Joint Commission team conducts a full survey to evaluate AltaPointe’s compliance with its standards. It gives the organization an opportunity to earn the Joint Commission ‘’gold seal’’ of accreditation for providing the utmost care to its patients and their families.
The Joint Commission’s standards of care help guide AltaPointe as it provides the best care possible to its patients. The standards focus on patient, individual or resident care and organization functions that are essential to providing safe, high-quality care.
“When someone sees the gold seal they should know that we have undergone an extensive process to earn that seal,” Robert Carlock, AltaPointe’s environment of care director, said. “We earn the seal by completing a great deal of training and education that helps to ensure we are providing the best patient care.”
The Joint Commission develops its standards in consultation with behavioral health care experts, providers, measurement experts, and individuals and their families. These standards evaluate AltaPointe’s performance in specific areas and specify requirements to ensure that care, treatment and services are provided in a safe manner. Embedded in the requirements is a trauma-informed, recovery/resilience-oriented philosophy and approach to care, treatment and services.
Joint Commission surveyors gather information on AltaPointe by listening, observing, combing medical records, and talking with staff over the course of a week. The results of the survey are usually filed within two weeks after the visit.
“The final Joint Commission report was stellar with only five direct-impact findings and eight indirect findings,” Sherill Alexander, AltaPointe’s director of performance improvement, said. “We recognize the positive impact of continuous Joint Commission survey readiness. In addition, we use corrective action plans, onsite support and coaching from the clinical directors, managers and performance improvement staff members to increase our compliance to the standards.”
According to Alexander, many of AltaPointe’s behavioral health processes impressed the Joint Commission team leader, who encouraged AltaPointe to share its successes in the Joint Commission Leading Practice Library.
Please visit the Joint Commission’s website to learn more about the accreditation process.