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HealthSouth earns triple certification

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HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona has earned the Gold Seal of Approval by becoming America’s first triple-certified rehabilitation hospital.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations recently awarded the hospital three disease-specific care certifications for its stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury rehabilitation programs.

HealthSouth Altoona also has the nation’s first certified brain injury and spinal cord injury programs.

“We’re proud to achieve this distinction,” said Scott A. Filler, chief executive officer. “We are setting the benchmark.”

A disease management program undergoes an on-site evaluation review by a team of commission reviewers every two years.

The program is evaluated against commission standards through an assessment of a program’s processes, the program’s ability to evaluate and improve care within its own organization and interviews with patients and staff.

“This isn’t one of those certifications you get every three years,” Filler said. “Every year, we have to send data to show we have continued to progress in these areas. We must submit annual reports to show we are still in compliance.”

During an Aug. 17 visit, commission reviewers did not find a recommendation for program improvement.

“This certification means HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona does the right things and does them well for stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury patients,” said Charles A. Mowll, commission executive vice president for business, development, government and external relations.

Filler said it took a lot of work to gain the certifications.

“This process has taken us over two years, thousands of man hours and nearly 300 continuing education seminars in the last 21/2 years attended by our clinicians to bring back the latest technology advances and best practices,” Filler said.

HealthSouth Altoona also is looking to gain certification for its cardiac and orthopedic rehabilitation programs, possibly as early as next year.

“It is ultimately part of our goal; they are part of our five core programs,” Filler said.

From Mirror staff reports

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