Penn Highlands DuBois and PH Elk Awarded Stroke Center Accreditation from The Joint Commission

For the 5th year, Penn Highlands DuBois has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Primary Stroke Center Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects Penn Highlands Healthcare’s transformation journey to become a high reliability organization, providing safe and quality patient care.

Penn Highlands Healthcare has also received the initial certification of Penn Highlands Elk as an Acute Stroke Ready Certified Center.

Both PH DuBois and PH Elk underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review on April 15 and April 16, 2021 respectively. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with Stroke Center standards spanning several areas including emergency management, environment of care, infection prevention and control, leadership, medication management, and rights and responsibilities of the individual.

The Joint Commission’s standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. They are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help health care organizations measure, assess and improve performance. The surveyors also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“As a private accreditor, The Joint Commission surveys health care organizations to protect the public by identifying deficiencies in care and working with those organizations to correct them as quickly and sustainably as possible,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Penn Highlands DuBois and Penn Highlands Elk for their continuous quality improvement efforts in patient safety and quality of care.”

“We are extremely honored to receive this accreditation,” Jolene A. Barbazzeni, BSN, RN, SCRN, PHRN Penn Highlands Stroke Coordinator/Neuroscience Department, said. “This certification demonstrates Penn Highlands’ commitment to providing a higher level of care, standardizing care, and improving patient outcomes, experience, and quality.”

Penn Highlands DuBois has been a Primary Stroke Center since 2014, providing a state-of-the-art infrastructure, staff and training to receive and treat patients with the most complex strokes 24/7. Penn Highlands Elk began preparing in 2017 to become an Acute Stroke Ready Certified Center and through the efforts of the team have been able to streamline services for stroke patients. All of the hospitals in the Penn Highlands Healthcare system are prepared to treat strokes in a fast and medically-appropriate manner.

Learn more about Penn Highlands Stroke Care.