After 26 years, GMH accreditation very likely - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

After 26 years, GMH accreditation very likely

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - The Guam Memorial Hospital is hoping for a full endorsement from the Joint Commission for Accreditation. A full survey was conducted recently where four members of the organization visited the island's only public hospital, with officials saying the visit seemed very optimistic.

GMH hasn't been fully accredited for 26 years now. It's been a constant struggle for the facility to obtain accreditation with challenges such as the lack of supplies, and not enough beds to accommodate the island's population. Despite these issues, spokesman Connor Murphy says things are looking up. Just last week, a team of four surveyors from JCA visited the hospital; the group included two nurses, a doctor and a life safety expert, all here to assess every aspect of the hospital. 

While the Commission commended GMH for improvements, the hospital won't receive official word for another few days.  "We are pretty optimistic and we have a feeling this went pretty well but we won't know the official results until we get the official notification, and that'll come in ten days," Murphy explained.  "So yes, we have good feelings about this. It's such a milestone for GMH to even get to the point where we're ready for joint commission accreditation."

Murphy says the hospital received a preliminary accreditation back in September, but the recent visit is the one that counts the most. He says GMH went through a very thorough assessment.  "When they do the accreditation survey, they look at everything from the physical facility to how the nurses and doctors do their jobs and manage medication, even down to whether the handwriting on the patient's chart is legible or not," he added.

While the hospital waits to hear back from the Commission, Murphy says the island should be proud of efforts made by the staff to get GMH up to par with other hospitals in the region, noting, "Everyone here at the hospital have been working so hard really to get to this point."

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