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UPMC Transplant Hospital in Sicily Receives JCI Accreditation

ISMETT Meets Highest Standards for Patient Safety, Quality

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 28, 2010 – The Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti e Terapie ad Alta Specializzazione (ISMETT), operated by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in Palermo, Italy, has become the first hospital in southern Italy to receive accreditation from the Joint Commission International (JCI). This achievement by one of Europe’s leading transplant centers is based on an extensive review of ISMETT’s patient safety and quality standards and processes.

“We voluntarily chose to apply for accreditation from JCI, an independent, non-profit organization recognized worldwide, to verify that we are meeting the highest standards of safety and quality,” said Bruno Gridelli, M.D., ISMETT director. “Our patients and the Regional Health Service, of which we are an integral and increasingly active part, can be confident that they are being served by a world-class facility.

A team of Joint Commission surveyors visited ISMETT for four days in November. JCI’s thorough accreditation process focuses on determining whether a health care facility has the right systems and processes in place to support high-quality and safe patient care and has the culture and capacity to continuously improve care. JCI’s surveyors examine crucial issues such as the safe use of medications, infection prevention and control, patient assessment and patient rights. The process requires hospitals to demonstrate a track record of standards compliance and relies on candid interviews with patients, nurses and physicians about care practices. JCI’s accreditation process also incorporates standards related to quality improvement and patient safety, governance, facility management, staff qualifications and education, and management of information.

“This effort, involving all of our staff, marks yet another milestone in ISMETT’s progress in continually improving the care provided to our patients,” said Dr. Gridelli. “The entire hospital, the result of a partnership between the Region of Sicily and UPMC, will continue its strong contribution to the growth of the Regional Health Service. ISMETT provides care to patients with severe and urgent pathologies arriving from hospitals all over Sicily, and every year supports the training of hundreds of nurses, physicians, technicians and managers, carrying out clinical and translational research in cooperation with regional, national and international centers.”

ISMETT joins several other UPMC international facilities with JCI accreditation: the independent UPMC Beacon Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, and two cancer centers operated by UPMC in Waterford and Dublin, Ireland. By leveraging its medical, technological and management expertise in Italy, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Cyprus and other countries, UPMC generates revenue that it can reinvest in its health care and research mission at home and abroad.

ISMETT, which has performed over 900 transplants since 1999, has one of the highest one-year survival rates for liver transplants in Europe, and it now attracts patients from throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East. A cell factory based at ISMETT includes three laboratories dedicated to the production of cells to treat end-stage organ failure and to advanced research in regenerative medicine.

Established to respond to a growing demand around the world for standards-based evaluation of quality in health care, JCI today accredits or certifies more than 300 health care organizations and clinical care programs in 39 countries. JCI is the international arm of the Joint Commission, which has worked for more than 50 years to improve the quality and safety of health care services. As the largest accreditor of health care organizations in the United States, the Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 17,000 health care organizations through a voluntary process and is recognized as a leader in all aspects of safe, high-quality care.

About UPMC

UPMC is an $8 billion integrated global health enterprise headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is one of the leading nonprofit health systems in the United States. As western Pennsylvania’s largest employer, with 50,000 employees, UPMC is transforming the economy of the region into one based on medicine, research and technology. By integrating 20 hospitals, 400 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, long-term care facilities and a major health insurance services division, and in collaboration with its academic partner, the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC has advanced the quality and efficiency of health care and developed internationally renowned programs in transplantation, cancer, neurosurgery, psychiatry, orthopaedics and sports medicine, among others. UPMC is commercializing its medical and technological expertise by nurturing new companies, developing strategic business relationships with some of the world’s leading multinational corporations, and expanding into international markets, including Italy, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Qatar and Japan. For more information about UPMC, visit our Web site at

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