The North Dakota State Hospital, which is part of the North Dakota Department of Human Services, received a two-year accreditation from The Joint Commission for its laboratory services area following an on-site survey review on Feb. 23. The accreditation represents the hospital’s commitment to providing safe and high-quality care to North Dakotans with mental health and substance use disorders.

“Our laboratory professionals are indispensable partners in providing patient-centered care and in improving health outcomes,” said Dr. Rosalie Etherington, the hospital’s superintendent. “Our successful survey is no surprise and is a testimony to the dedicated and excellent work of our lab director, Jodi Ronnigen and her valued staff.”

The state hospital’s laboratory services underwent an inspection and evaluation for compliance with performance standards in a variety of areas including emergency management, infection prevention and control; documentation and process control; and staff qualifications and competency. The only identified need for improvement was the replacement of hard structures like counters and flooring for better infection prevention.

The accreditation was awarded at the conclusion of the one-day visit. The North Dakota State Hospital and its behavioral health care programs go through a separate accreditation process every three years. The hospital first received accreditation from The Joint Commission in 1956.

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The North Dakota State Hospital provides specialized inpatient and residential care to individuals with severe, complex, and persistent mental illnesses and substance use disorders and remains the safety net for people whose behavioral challenges exceed community resources. It serves as the only psychiatric hospital for the Jamestown and Devils Lake regions.

The State Hospital also provides substance use disorder treatment services through its Tompkins program for adults referred from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and locked residential evaluation and treatment services for sexually dangerous individuals. It works with the department’s eight regional human service centers and other providers to help patients transition to community-based outpatient treatment and recovery support services.

The Joint Commission is the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the country. It evaluates and accredits more than 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the country.