Cannon makes state history

PICKENS — Cannon Memorial Hospital is the first and only hospital system in the state of South Carolina to receive ISO 9001: 2008 certification after successfully passing the audit of its quality management system (QMS) by DNV Healthcare Inc.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) accreditation is a rigorous process in which a hospital improves and monitors the delivery of patient care, measures quality, and places the highest priority on eliminating errors. ISO standards are used internationally in different fields including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, aerospace, medical devices and healthcare.

“Cannon is proud to be ISO certified throughout our hospital. This demonstrates to our customers — our patients — that Cannon Hospital is focused on a commitment to quality within all levels of our organization,” said Norman Rentz, CEO of Cannon Hospital. “It also indicates the level of care and standardized treatment patients can expect when services are provided to them at our hospital or physician practices.”

ISO standards are considered the “gold standard” in industries and are focused on measuring patient quality and requiring accredited entities to continuously improve their processes and procedures in order to reduce errors and improve patient satisfaction.

“This is not a one-time certification that we get and put on a shelf,” said Tunkie Stokes, Cannon Hospital Board Chairperson. “We are required to continuously make quality improvements in order to maintain our accreditation and this is so important to the future of healthcare, that we are looking at how care is being delivered and making it better, safer and more efficient.”

DNV is the first and only CMS approved accreditation program that surveys annually and integrates ISO 9001:2008 quality methods with Medicare Conditions of Participation. Cannon Hospital broke away from Joint Commission accreditation in 2009 and joined DNV’s accreditation program, which uses the National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations (NIAHO) standards of evaluation. NIAHO encourages innovation within individual hospitals while helping them take advantage of system-wide best practices.

Currently there are around 40 hospitals nationwide who are ISO 9001:2008 certified. Cannon is the first hospital in South Carolina to carry this prestigious accreditation. Other hospitals in South Carolina have chosen to certify specific departments within their hospital as ISO accredited, however, no other hospital’s quality management system in South Carolina is currently ISO 9001:2008 certified throughout the entire hospital and associated physician practices.