Highlands Wellmont Health Network, a partnership of Wellmont Health System and Highlands Physicians Inc., has become only the third physician-hospital organization in the nation to achieve accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

JCAHO surveyors awarded accreditation to HWHN following an on-site review in October 2000. The review found that HWHN demonstrates overall compliance with the Joint Commission’s national standards for healthcare networks.

“Accreditation shows we are making quality a top priority,” said Walter Hankwitz, executive director of Highlands Physicians. “The accreditation process has strengthened our ongoing efforts to improve care for our members.

“Obtaining Joint Commission accreditation is another step toward excellence.”

To obtain accreditation, HWHN was required to meet standards addressing: the rights and responsibilities of persons enrolled in the network; organization ethics; providing a continuum of care; education and communicating with enrollees; leadership; human resources; management of information; and network performance.

“The standards are intended to simulate continuous, systematic and organizationwide improvement in the network’s performance and the outcomes of care,” said Gina Zimmerman, executive director of the JCAHO Network Program. “Accreditation demonstrates HWHN’s commitment to providing high-quality care.”


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