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Watauga Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Disease-Specific Care Certification for Chest Pain by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a healthcare organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.

The certification recognizes health care organizations that provide clinical programs across the continuum of care for chest pain. 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.

Watauga Medical Center underwent a rigorous, unannounced virtual review on March 11, 2022. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards including program management, performance measurement, and delivering and facilitating clinical care. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted virtual observations and interviews.

“Disease-Specific Chest Pain 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 Watauga Medical Center for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for chest pain patients.”

Kim Bianca, President of Watauga Medical Center, reflected on the achievement, “Our vision for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is to provide care for our community that results in healthier individuals and we continuously reach for every opportunity to enhance and improve our services. Achieving disease specific accreditation confirms our commitment to that vision. I’m so proud of our dedicated staff who live our mission every day.”


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