By Courtney Dentch
The newly opened Queens Hospital Center in Jamaica received a nearly perfect score on its accreditation, following a week-long review of the hospital’s practices by a nationwide commission.
The hospital, a public city hospital located at 164th Street on the north side of the Grand Central Parkway, earned a preliminary score of 96 out of 100 on its accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the hospital announced last week. The score places the hospital in the organization’s highest rating, accreditation with full standard compliance, said Lata Vasconcellos, senior associate for communications for Queens Hospital Center.
“This is wonderful for this hospital, particularly because we just opened our new building,” she said. “It’s like Cinderella finding her shoe. We have a new beautiful home and I think it completely showed in our survey that this is a fabulous hospital.”
A survey team from accreditation organization spent the week of April 29 at Queens Hospital, reviewing all levels of treatment, including assessment and care of patients, management of the hospital, training of staff and the continuum of care as a whole, Vasconcellos said.
“In addition to the review of policies and procedures, the JCAHO survey team spent a great deal of time interviewing all levels of staff to determine how well the actual practice of care matched the hospital’s policies and procedures,” said Benjamin Chu, president of the Health and Hospitals Corporation, which manages the city’s public hospitals. “The Queens community can be proud of this achievement.”
The preliminary score is a formality, allowing accreditation organization to review and approve the scores before finalizing them, Vasconcellos said. The score cannot be lowered, but the accreditation organization may make recommendations to the hospital, she said.
Although Queens Hospital Center earned the highest score in the HHC system, more than half of the city’s public hospitals carry the accreditation body’s highest rating with an average score of 94. The accreditation organization current national average is 91, according to a press release from the HHC. The accreditation is valid for three years.
Queens Hospital Center opened the new building on its Jamaica campus in January, completing a redevelopment project four years in the making. The project to build the 200-bed, seven-story facility cost just under $150 million.
The move into the new building took place about two months before the accreditation organization came to survey the hospital, and the staff was still adjusting to the change, Vasconcellos said.
“We’re very proud because we were doing two things at once,” she said. “We had just completed this monumental move into our new building.”
The hospital serves a community of about 950,000 residents from southeast Queens, Vasconcellos said.
As a public facility, Queens Hospital Center accepts all patients, regardless of insurance, Medicaid coverage, or their ability to pay. The hospital is run by the Queens Health Network, a part of the HHC, which also manages Elmhurst Hospital Center.
The newly redeveloped Queens Hospital Center includes three centers of excellence, which specialize in cancer, diabetes and women’s health care, and several specialty clinics.
Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com, or by phone at 229-0300 Ext. 138.