SMH Nationally Recognized for Services, Technology

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SMH Nationally Recognized for Services, Technology

LEONARDTOWN - 6/29/2009

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Throughout the country, health care facilities such as St. Mary’s Hospital seek accreditations and certifications for their services and technologies to help you make educated decisions about your health care. Staff members undergo rigorous evaluation processes to ensure they are up-to-date and even surpassing patients’ needs.

“This process ensures that our community is getting only the very best, high quality care at SMH,” said hospital Vice President Joan Gelrud.

Why should you care about accreditations and certifications? This information helps you make good health care decisions and encourages hospitals to improve the quality of care they provide.

Below is a list of the hospital’s various certifications and accreditations, which span almost all the services. In addition, the hospital is accredited with The Joint Commission’s nationwide Gold Seal of Approval™.

  • Cancer Care and Infusion Services: The cancer program recently received a three-year approval from the American College of Surgeons at a national level. The facility cares for hundreds of newly diagnosed cancer cases annually, including diagnostic and treatment services.
  • Computed Tomography (CT): The hospital is accredited for its CT services on the CT Lightspeed QXI for adults and pediatrics from the American College of Radiology (ACR). CT is a painless, diagnostic procedure that uses special X-ray equipment to obtain cross-sectional images of the body.
  • Diabetes Education: The Health Connections’ Diabetes Education Program received full recognition from the American Diabetes Association, one of 37 recognized diabetes education programs in Maryland.
  • Laboratory: The hospital’s laboratory is accredited by the AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP).
  • Mammography: Last summer, the hospital installed digital mammography, a state-of-the-art mammography imaging technique. Digital mammography takes an electronic image of the breast and stores it in a computer, allowing the recorded data to be enhanced, magnified or manipulated.

The hospital has offered mammography services since 1974. The hospital received accreditation for mammography in the mid-1990s and has retained its accreditation since then. Due to the leap in technology, digital mammography has a separate accreditation process from the analog system. In December 2008, the hospital received accreditation for the digital system from the ACR.

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): The hospital has also achieved accreditation from the ACR for the new MRI machine. Unlike CT scans and X-rays, MRI does not use radiation. Rather, it uses radio frequencies and magnetism to produce pictures for radiologists to interpret.
  • Pulmonary Services: The hospital’s Pulmonary Services Department earned Quality Respiratory Care Recognition under a national program aimed at helping patients and families make informed decisions about the quality of respiratory care services in hospitals. Only 15 percent of hospitals in the United States received this award from the American Association for Respiratory Care – St. Mary’s Hospital is one of just seven facilities in the state with this recognition.
  • Stroke Services: The hospital was the first hospital in Southern Maryland to receive a full five-year primary stroke center designation. Staff underwent a lengthy application process and on-site survey from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems.
  • Ultrasound Imaging: The hospital is accredited for obstetrics, gynecology, general and vascular ultrasound services by the ACR. Beyond obstetrics, the 4-D ultrasound’s live video footage helps detect or rule out a wide range of potential medical problems and gives surgeons a better visual image of the areas they will be treating. The advanced, ergonomic design of the latest 4-D machines also makes ultrasound scanning more comfortable.

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