Four months after Virginia Mason Medical Center failed to obtain full accreditation from the Joint Commission, the hospital has resolved deficiencies, a report showed.

Share story

Virginia Mason Medical Center has regained full accreditation by the Joint Commission, four months after it failed to comply with standards set for hospitals across the U.S.

The hospital’s status was upgraded Sept. 17 from contingent to full accreditation after a site visit Sept. 16, according to a report by the nonprofit that inspects 21,000 hospitals and programs nationwide.

“We are very pleased to have again earned accreditation because this achievement underscores our steadfast commitment to high-quality care and patient safety,” Dr. Gary S. Kaplan, the hospital’s chairman and chief executive said in a statement Thursday.

Unannounced Joint Commission visits beginning in May had found that Virginia Mason was out of compliance in 29 areas ranging from conducting fire drills and reducing risk of infection from medical equipment to providing an environment with no risk of “immediate threat to life.”

Most Read Stories

3-course dinners for $32 starting April 2.

The hospital was given a preliminary denial of accreditation, a rating that was changed to contingent accreditation June 1. The contingent status remained in effect after a visit July 1, according to the Quality Check website maintained by the Joint Commission.

Contingent accreditation is granted when a hospital has resolved immediate threats, but fails to successfully address other problems.

Virginia Mason was never completely denied accreditation, a rating it has maintained since 1953, hospital officials said.

Kaplan said the repeat inspections allowed the hospital to review standards at all sites.

“We examined everything from instrument flow to the comprehensive documentation of each person’s history,” he wrote. “Because of this process, and the hard work of our team, we are better today and our patients will benefit from this experience.”

Other Seattle-area hospitals remain fully accredited, with no lapses. The Joint Commission conducts surveys every 18 months to three years. It is the nation’s oldest and largest accrediting agency in health care.