Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center awarded international accreditation: the Gold Seal of Approval® for quality and safety
In January 2014, the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov) earned prestigious accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI), the global organization that certifies hospitals for quality and safety. This accreditation is the most stringent certificate awarded to hospitals in Israel and throughout the world, reflecting the highest standard of excellence in medical care. The word “accreditation,” which several years ago, was known only to the inner circles of hospital quality assurance managers, has now become part of the day-to-day language for all 6,000 Medical Center employees, in all ranks.
An all-inclusive audit
The Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center was awarded the Gold Seal of Approval following an intensive week-long audit conducted by five senior international JCI surveyors. During the audit, the surveyors examined every corner of the Medical Center, a facility that is sprawled over seven buildings of a 300,000 square-yard campus (250,000 square meters).The surveyors did not just audit the inpatient units and outpatient clinics, to review medical records and medical and nursing procedures. They also examined the Medical Center’s infrastructure as well as the organizations that serve patients and employees—beginning with parking and the emergency underground hospital, and continuing with the logistics systems (centralized oxygen and water supplies, electrical power generators, trash removal, etc.) The audit also included the Medical Center laboratories that provide essential services for both patient care and medical research.
A long-term effort
The audit was the climax of preparations that Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center carried out—a process that began three years prior. Over this time period, the Medical Center perfected procedures, trained personnel, and upgraded facilities. Inspired by the common mission, the entire staff worked collaboratively toward this essential goal: to optimize patient service, quality, and safety.
The accreditation audit was based on 1300 predefined JCI standards, organized into two primary subjects:
- Clinical standards related to patient treatment itself, such as international patient safety goals (IPSG), which cover accuracy in patient identification and procedure performance; safety in surgery, anesthetization, and medication administration; and preventing infection.
- Management standards pertaining to directing the hospital as a medical institution, including recruiting and training employees, managing infrastructure, conducting human research studies, and managing information.
An outstanding effort with excellent results
The Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center passed the survey with flying colors—obtaining an outstandingly high rating; from the 1300+ measures evaluated, the Medical Center passed over 1280. This achievement is exceptional according to worldwide standards for academic medical centers and certainly superior according to Israeli hospital standards. JCI accolades at the final survey-findings presentation are testimony to this achievement. Angela Norton, the JCI Survey Team Leader, drove this point home by stating, “In six years of accrediting organizations, and I do three organizations a month, that’s an incredible score!” Ms. Norton continued by commenting on this achievement, “In your organization, I would be very, very proud…”
The proven process that produces quality results
Receiving JCI accreditation is official international confirmation of the quality and safety that the Medical Center delivers to approximately 1.5 million patients each year. The active involvement of all hospital employees in the survey, the serious and sincere approach, and productive collaboration across all disciplines helped guarantee excellence in the JCI survey.
Now that the Medical Center has received the prestigious Gold Seal of Approval, the entire staff will continue with its commitment to the principles of excellence, procedures, and work methods that enabled the Medical Center to earn this recognition - so that they can continue to pursue and provide the highest quality, safe and effective medical care to all who seek it for years to come.