By Richard Asinof
TAUNTON – Morton Hospital and Medical Center earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for demonstrating compliance with national standards for health care quality and safety, the hospital announced Dec. 8.
In August, Morton Hospital underwent a rigorous, unannounced on-site survey, evaluating its facilities for compliance with standards of care, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.
"We are making a significant investment in quality on a day-to-day basis from the top down. Joint Commission accreditation provides us a framework to take our organization to the next level and helps create a culture of excellence,” said Maureen Bryant, Morton Hospital president and CEO.
Morton Hospital announced Dec. 16 that it has received a $150,000 grant from Partners HealthCare to support the delivery of psychiatric services in its Emergency Department.
The grant will be used to build Morton Hospital’s clinical capacity to assess the mental health needs of patients in the Emergency Department and identify treatment options, as well as provide the services required by such patients.
Mass. State Sen. Marc R. Pacheco, D-Taunton, had recommended Morton Hospital for the grant, because he said the hospital is facing difficult financial circumstances that could make it challenging to continue delivering emergency mental health services.
Morton Hospital currently sees between 125 and 170 patients with mental health issues in its Emergency Department each month, with patients including children, teens, adults and seniors, according to hospital officials. Among the issues being faced by those individuals are depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, challenging behaviors and a full spectrum of psychiatric illnesses.
Hospital officials said that they were in the process of identifying potential clinical partners who could provide Emergency Department mental health assessments, assist medical patients who have mental health issues and serve as an ongoing resource on quality improvement. The partner would also provide staff training on mental health issues and the behavioral management of patients.