North Dakota State Hospital reaccredited

Legislative study highlights hospital’s specialty services and care and recommends building a new facility  

JSSP Generic Sun

BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota State Hospital in Jamestown has received a three-year accreditation from The Joint Commission for its hospital and behavioral health care and human services programs following an on-site survey review in late March.

“This accreditation underscores our team’s commitment to providing safe, quality patient care to people with severe, complex and persistent mental illnesses and substance use disorders,” said Rosalie Etherington, State Hospital superintendent.

As part of the accreditation process, the North Dakota State Hospital underwent a rigorous review that evaluated compliance and measured hospital performance standards in many areas, including patient care, treatment and services. The hospital has been continuously accredited since 1956 by The Joint Commission.

“Our team has worked extremely hard to improve the lives of patients and promote their recovery throughout the pandemic, during a time of unprecedented demand for our specialized services and treatment for justice involved individuals,” Etherington said. “I’m grateful for their dedication to the people we serve.”

One notable increase in demand was for forensic assessments. Over the past two years, the state hospital went from completing an average of 14 forensic assessments a quarter to over 100 forensic assessments a quarter. Forensic assessments are done at the request of the courts to assess if an individual is competent to stand trial.


The North Dakota State Hospital plays a vital role in providing specialized inpatient and residential care to people with severe and persistent mental illness who typically cannot be served elsewhere.

The importance of the state hospital’s specialty services were called out recently in a legislative interim report presented to the Acute Psychiatric Treatment Committee on April 5. The report’s recommendations include building of a new state hospital that focuses on delivering intensive specialty services including forensic, court-ordered treatment and care for complex treatment patients who cannot be cared for in other facilities due to their intensity of need.

An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. It evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the U.S.

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