Panola Medical earns accreditation

Published 8:20 pm Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Batesville hospital worked two years to receive designation

Panola Medical staff and management received some long-awaited good news Friday afternoon when a letter arrived confirming the Batesville hospital has received accreditation from a national organization for critical access and general hospitals.

The full accreditation issued by DNV-GL is the culmination of two years of hard work from all the employees of the local hospital who recognized the facility’s deficiencies and embraced management’s plans to overcome the obstacles that rural hospitals face across the county’s healthcare system, according to Chris Ware, Chief of Operations

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“We were last accredited in 2017 by The Joint Commission, and we didn’t renew our accreditation in 2019,” Ware said. “As a facility, Panola Medical had fallen behind on a lot of Life Safety issues under then owner Curae Health.  Around the same time BCBS of MS had given Panola Medical a notice that to remain in the network we would need to be accredited by DNV-GL or Joint Commission.”

CEO and President of the Board Quentin Whitwell, who had purchased the hospital in bankruptcy court, with the goal of turning the beleaguered facility into a profitable healthcare business able to provide basic, and life saving, healthcare for Panola County and the surrounding areas.

Whitwell determined the hospital would work for the DNV-GL accreditation just about the time the whole world’s healthcare systems were turned upside down.

“During the initial days of getting ready for our survey COVID 19 took over and we had to focus our time and resources on fighting the pandemic. Through the pandemic our staff continued to get things ready to have a successful survey, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their hard work,” Ware said.

In January of this year Panola Medical had the initial survey on the main campus with the hospital and at the behavioral health campus on Keating Road. The surveyors were very thorough and spent three days inspecting and observing the hospital’s daily operations.

“They went through all our policies and procedures, as well as taking a tour of both campuses. We had some challenges to overcome, but every employee came together as a team and got it done,” Ware said. “I couldn’t be prouder of our PMC family. A lot of people said we would never become accredited, andI believe that lit a fire under everyone and we got it done.”

Panola Medical went through a major pandemic while receiving the Center of EXcellence for COVID 19 distinction, while at the same time becoming accredited by the DNV-GL. “

“We are one big family at PMC. We rally around each other and pick each other up. I’ve been in healthcare for 20 years and I’ve never seen a more close-knit healthcare family,” Ware said.