Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico awarded Spinal Cord Injury Certification from The Joint Commission

Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Spinal Cord Injury Certification by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.

The certification recognizes health care organizations that provide clinical programs across the continuum of care for Spinal Cord Injury. The certification evaluates how organizations use clinical outcomes and performance measures to identify opportunities to improve care, as well as to educate and prepare patients and their caregivers for discharge.

Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review on July 25, 2019. During the visit, a Joint Commission reviewer evaluated compliance with related certification standards including program management, selecting and analyzing quality performance measures, and delivering and facilitating clinical care specifically designed for Spinal Cord Injury Survivors. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“Spinal Cord Injury Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for Spinal Cord Injury patients.”

“Our team is privileged to care for those that have gone through extremely difficult, life-changing events and to be able to keep their care close to home,” says Sabrina Martin, chief executive officer of Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico. “Spinal Cord Injury Survivors require highly specialized care and our team dedicated themselves to earning this certification to help these survivors, in our region. I am so proud of the hard work put forth by our hospital and very proud to be the first Spinal Cord Injury program certified by The Joint Commission in our entire company.”

In preparation for this certification survey, staff training and competency for clinical and non-clinical staff was completed and is ongoing. Education includes elements of the program such as Critical Practice Guidelines, bowel, and bladder program, signs and symptoms of Autonomic Dysreflexia, and positioning to prevent skin breakdown. All Spinal Cord Injury Survivors are placed in the Transitional Outcomes Program for follow up for at least 30 days after discharge. A Spinal Cord Injury patient education manual was developed, as well as a 3-day checklist, to guide the interdisciplinary core team in assessment and implementation of care components upon admission.

To assist with community reintegration and preventing readmissions, the Spinal Cord Injury team instituted a community support group and established a peer support list provided to the patients upon discharge.

For more information, please visit The Joint Commission website.