St. Vincent’s Blount wins full accreditation, four-star recognition for quality


St. Vincent’s Blount has recently received full national accreditation for the next three years from the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), based on an unannounced survey of the hospital conducted in late August. The survey reported no clinical findings requiring remedial attention. The hospital also received a four-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare.

The Joint Commission survey is designed to guide and evaluate the performance of hospitals in patient safety, treatment, and quality of care. Full accreditation means that St. Vincent’s Blount complies with the highest national standards for safety and quality of care, and is dedicated to continual improvement.

JCAHO is a nonprofit organization based in the U. S. that accredits more than 22,000 healthcare organizations in this country. Their standards are the basis of an evaluation process that can help healthcare organizations measure, assess, and improve performance.

Hospital Compare is a consumer oriented website that helps consumers make informed decisions about where to go for health care based on information it provides on hospital performance. St. Vincent’s Birmingham and St. Vincent’s Blount are the only two hospitals in the Birmingham region to get the four-star rating. St. Vincent’s St. Clair is the only five-star hospital in the region.

“I attribute these high ratings to the staff here,” said hospital administrator Greg Brown. “The staff here is simply better than the staff at bigger hospitals. Most of them live in Blount County, and they’re very proud of this hospital. Our front door is the emergency room, and we’ve got really, really good physicians in there, and really good associates throughout the hospital. “

Brown said many county residents aren’t aware of all the programs and services available through St. Vincent’s Blount. He said that the hospital will be opening a retail pharmacy between now and December so that patients can have needed prescriptions filled before leaving the hospital, as well as serving employees. The hospital also plans to open a wound care program to treat serious injuries, diabetes, burns, and other problems. It has already opened a cardiac rehabilitation unit and a sleep laboratory, he said.