From Special Reports

Five of Piedmont Healthcare’s regional hospitals – including Piedmont Newnan – have achieved certification for the first time to the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System, reflecting the organization’s long-term commitment to quality, transparency, and customer satisfaction. Piedmont’s hospitals are the only ones in metro Atlanta to have received this certification from DNV GL – Business Assurance.

Besides Piedmont Newnan, the other four hospitals to receive the certification are Piedmont Atlanta, Piedmont Henry, Piedmont Fayette, and Piedmont Mountainside. The certification is valid for three years and is provided by DNV GL – Business Assurance. Piedmont submitted to the rigorous process to demonstrate its system-wide dedication to delivering the same high standard of care across all of its entities.

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 9001 is the most widely used quality management standard, and has recently undergone a periodic update to better reflect modern business challenges. Last modified in 2008, the new 2015 version of ISO 9001 is the result of input from business and technical experts around the world. The program requires greater involvement of senior management, broader understanding of supply chains, and more focus on stakeholder (not just customer) expectations.

“We are extremely proud of our commitment to quality,” said Piedmont Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Leigh Hamby, M.D. “Our ISO certification is another indication that we are continually moving forward and, equally important, allows us to communicate publicly our dedication to excellence. It’s a symbol that everyone – our employees, our partners, our customers – recognizes and values.”

In July 2016, Piedmont reorganized its Quality & Safety Department, bringing in process engineers to work with its quality and clinical staff. As part of the reorganization, Piedmont implemented clinical standard work with a focus on standardizing Care Process Models (CPMs) across all hospitals. This allowed Piedmont to reduce the five most common hospital-acquired infections by 54 percent over the last two years.

“The processes that we have instituted as a result of our ISO certification align with our ‘Zero Harm’ strategy and focus on continuous improvement,” said Anna Ivory, Piedmont’s vice president of Quality & Safety. “As a result, we are bringing a higher level of care to the 2 million patients that we serve annually.”

All organizations currently certified to the previous version of ISO 9001 are required to transition to the new version by October 2018 or risk losing their certification. About 500 U.S. hospitals have earned ISO certification.