August 31, 2021
Local nonprofit health care system first-in-state to achieve prestigious quality recognition
St. Peter's Health announced today that it is the first health care system in the state of Montana to receive ISO-9001 quality management certification. Established in 1946, ISO is an independent, non-governmental organization that measures and awards companies and organizations from civil engineering and aerospace to health care and agriculture based on their adoption and adherence to quality processes and standards. ISO-9001 sets out criteria for a quality management system that focuses on the effectiveness of methods to reduce failure and promotes continual improvement. The ISO-9001 standard is based on quality measurement principles like a strong customer focus, process approach, governance and continual improvement.
St. Peter's Health started its ISO-9001 quality management journey in 2018 and received notification of certification following a spring 2021 on-site survey from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) accrediting agency DNV-GL Healthcare.
"Three years ago, we made a commitment to ourselves and to our community that we were going to double down on our efforts around patient safety and quality. Together, our teams plotted a course to achieve what is regarded as one of the highest quality standards in the world," said St. Peter's Health Chief Medical Officer and President of the Regional Medical Center Dr. Shelly Harkins. "Processes and systems are critical in health care. It is processes and procedures that help mitigate rare yet inevitable human error."
Continual improvement is a crucial element of ISO-9001 certification.
"Receiving the certificate certainly validates all the hard work that we've done over the past three years to improve accountability and quality management," said Harkins. "We achieved this certification amidst our COVID-19 response. I believe it was actually the pandemic that helped us achieve this certification one full year ahead of when we anticipated doing so because we became very good at rapid process improvement, which includes making changes, evaluating, and refining.”
According to St. Peter's Chief Executive Officer Wade Johnson, the organization's staff, providers and board members deserve all the credit for the achievement.
"This accomplishment is a reflection of the commitment our entire team has to providing safe and effective care and improving what we do every day” said Johnson. “It takes everyone, each in their respective roles, working together and supporting each other to build a world-class quality management system and achieve a recognition of this caliber.”