October 20, 2022
AUSTIN – CommUnityCare Health Centers, the second largest nonprofit community health center system in Texas, has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Ambulatory Care Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s 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.
CommUnityCare underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review in July. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with Ambulatory Care standards spanning several areas including environment of care, infection prevention and control, leadership, medication management, and rights and responsibilities of the individual.
The Joint Commission’s standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. They are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help health care organizations measure, assess, and improve performance. The surveyors also conducted onsite observations and interviews.
“As a private accreditor, The Joint Commission surveys health care organizations to protect the public by identifying deficiencies in care and working with those organizations to correct them as quickly and sustainably as possible,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend CommUnityCare for its continuous quality improvement efforts in patient safety and quality of care.”
The accreditation applies to CommUnityCare’s almost 30 health centers in Travis County and surrounding areas.
“Whether your income is in the highest bracket or the lowest, everyone wants to know they are receiving the highest quality and safest medical care at their doctor or dentist’s office,” said Jaeson Fournier, CEO of CommUnityCare. “That’s why The Joint Commission’s independent and rigorous review of our services is so important. It gives patients peace of mind and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our clinicians, nurses, and care team members and demonstrates our commitment to continuously improving our health care services as we strive to achieve greater health equity for all, but especially for our low income and uninsured patients.”
Patients and community members can go online and download the quality report here.
Accreditation is required for hospitals that participate in federal health care programs and optional for community health centers.
As the largest safety net healthcare provider in the Austin region and one of the 1,373 federal Health Center Program Grantees nationwide, CommUnityCare sees 130,000 unique patients, representing 460,000 patient visits each year.
CommUnityCare’s David Powell Clinic, center of excellence for HIV care, also received a new certification by The Joint Committee as a Primary Care Medical Home, a designation that means a health institution focuses on the whole person and respects each patient’s needs, culture, and values.
“We provide communities traditionally left behind with inclusive, non-judgmental care– regardless of income,” Fournier said. “As importantly, we strive toward bringing health equity to these communities by knocking down traditional barriers, like race, ethnicity, and language.”