Hackensack Meridian Health Hospitals Awarded the Gold Seal for Sepsis by The Joint Commission

July 17, 2019

Network is the second health network in the nation to receive the Sepsis Certification as a system

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive and integrated health network, has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Sepsis Certification by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care. The network adopted a systemwide approach for the management of sepsis and became the second health system in the nation to receive the certification in sepsis as a system.

“Hackensack Meridian Health is committed to providing outstanding, safe care for our patients,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Sepsis is a serious medical condition impacting patients, and that is why we adopted a comprehensive, systemwide approach for the management of sepsis. We are proud of achieving the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal for our sepsis program and look forward to being on the forefront of addressing this issue.”

The certification recognizes health care organizations that provide clinical programs across the continuum of care for sepsis. The certification evaluates how organizations use clinical outcomes and performance measures to identify opportunities to improve care, as well as to educate and prepare patients and their caregivers for discharge.

Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite reviews from 2016 to 2019. During each visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards such as program management. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“Sepsis Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Hackensack Meridian Health for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for sepsis patients.”

Hackensack Meridian Health has been committed to adopting a systemwide approach to sepsis, which helped create a standardized process around sepsis and sharing of best practices. The approach was developed by Renee Harvey, regulatory affairs vice president, and Inia Estima, manager. The network also established a Hackensack Meridian Health Sepsis Committee which is led by Robert Bayle, M.D. and facilitated by Lisa Failace, RN.

The network is leading the way in sepsis care. In 2016, Mountainside Medical Center became the first hospital in the State of New Jersey to receive this Disease Specific Certification (DSC). This was followed by Hackensack University Medical Center (which continues to lead the nation as an organization with the most TJC Gold Seals – 26 in total), Palisades Medical Center and Pascack Valley Medical Center achieved this sepsis certification in November 2018. In April 2019, Raritan Bay Medical Center, Bayshore Medical Center, JFK Medical Center and Southern Ocean Medical Center achieved the sepsis certification. In June 2019, Riverview Medical Center, Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Ocean Medical Center earned this designation to complete the systemwide goal. The network has a total of 71 DSCs to date.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.5 million people develop sepsis in the United States every year, and it results in 250,000 deaths every year. Sepsis occurs when the body has an extreme reaction to an infection. Without immediate treatment, sepsis can lead to tissue damage, organ failure or even death.

For more information, please visit The Joint Commission website.