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MMH Lab earns gold seal of approval

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MASSENA - By demonstrating compliance with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization’s national standards for health care quality and safety, Massena Memorial Hospital Laboratory has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval. The award of accreditation is for two-years.

“The surveyor stated in his report that the Massena Memorial Hospital Laboratory is in the top 1 percent in the country for quality and for meeting the Accreditation Standards of the Joint Commission. I congratulate the entire lab staff for an excellent survey and for their continued dedication in providing the best lab services in the North Country,” said Charles F. Fahd, II, FACHE, chief executive officer. “We sought accreditation for our organization because we want to demonstrate our commitment to patient safety and quality care. We view obtaining Joint Commission Accreditation as another step toward achieving excellence.”

The two-day unannounced survey was extremely thorough, explained Kevin Ward, administrative director of Laboratory. The surveyor reviewed all areas of the lab -Hematology, Urinalysis, Coagulation, General Chemistry, Special Chemistry, Histology, Microbiology, Blood Bank, Serology, Phlebotomy, Specimen collection and handling, and Quality Management.

“The whole survey is a quality review of required standards. Everyone throughout the entire building is part of the survey. The prime focus may be the laboratory but the lab intertwines with the entire patient stay and all areas of the hospital are involved in the patient’s care,” Ward said.

“The surveyor takes a tracer approach by tracking a specimen from the time of collection through the processing, handling and to a final report,” Ward added. “The surveyor reviewed employees’ qualifications and an assessment of each area in the lab; the quality of the equipment, environment, how patients are handled and the overall quality assessment of the entire laboratory process.”

He added the success of the lab is ultimately due to the work of the laboratory staff. “I could review their work weekly, monthly or biannually as required by the Joint Commission and Department of Health standards, but he it is the daily hard work of the staff that makes us the top 1 percent of hospital laboratories in the country accredited by the Joint Commission.” Ward said.

During the two-day survey, samples were taken and examined by tracing them from start to finish, Ward explained. Special review was given to any new pieces of equipment, as new pieces of equipment are more thoroughly scrutinized and validation studies were examined to ensure the lab was meeting standards.

“We are always amazed with the volume of tests and quality of work produced on a monthly bases by our laboratory department/professionals and appreciate the validation from the Joint Commission that our laboratory department is within the top 1 percent of labs in the country,” said Mark Brouillette, senior director of Ancillary Services.

Members of the laboratory staff include Renee Barto, Amy Batten, Kayla Bonesteel, Kaneta Cameron, Michael Chambers, Kristie Cole, Heather Harvey, Tina Hatch, Kim Hughes, “Ace” Janovsky, Melissa LaPage, Shelby Love, Maranda Marshall, Pamela Monroe, Daniel O’Keefe, Thomas Savage, Cathy Smith, Kandy Talbot, Rick Tremblay, Vickie Tyo, Scott Weaver, Jodi White, Amy Wilson and Ward, r with Dr. Phillip M. Bridgman, M.D., as medical director and S. Scott Smith, M.D., as associate medical director.

MMH’s Laboratory did 750,000 lab tests from 220,000 lab specimens from over 60,000 patients over the past 12 months.

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