JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Brooke Army Medical Center, which includes San Antonio Military Medical Center and its outlying clinics, has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval´┐Ż for accreditation.

The Joint Commission accredited BAMC under two standards, the hospital standard and the behavioral health standard. The three-year accreditation award recognizes BAMC's dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission's standards for health care quality and safety.

"The Department of Defense requires all military treatment facilities to maintain a civilian accreditation," said Air Force Col. Kimberly Pietszak, deputy to the commander for Quality and Safety at SAMMC.

"Not all civilian hospitals are accredited, so it sets a standard for the Department of Defense that we are transparent and we care about the quality and safety of the care we provide enough that we actually pay for and ask consultants to come into this organization and tell us how we are doing," Pietszak said.

BAMC facilities underwent the rigorous unannounced on-site survey in September 2015. A team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated SAMMC and the outlying clinics for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

"We did exceptionally well," Pietszak said. "We earned a three-year accreditation and we had very few findings. Most of the findings were not related to patient care, they were more facilities based."

The Joint Commission's hospital standards address important functions relating to the care of patients and the management of hospitals. The standards are developed in consultation with health care experts, providers, measurement experts and patients.

Pietszak credited the entire staff for their caring and dedication.

"The entire staff worked very hard to put programs into place, to sustain those programs and to ensure that not only did they meet The Joint Commission standards, they exceeded them," she said.

"The survey team was unanimous and profuse in their compliments on the teamwork, skill, compassion, professionalism and passion to learn exhibited by all of our staff members," said Army Col. Evan Renz, BAMC commander.

"I am very proud of what we as an integrated team have accomplished over the past months to prepare for this survey and the results are outstanding."

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.