Health Check: Fatima earns Gold Seal for diabetes program

Fatima Hospital in North Providence has become the first hospital in New England to receive high honors for its advanced diabetes care.

The Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization that accredits more than 19,000 health care facilities, recently awarded Fatima Hospital with its highest certification -- the Gold Seal of Approval -- for its diabetes program.

"It's taken about four years working. We have a huge multidisciplinary team that's worked very, very hard," said Anne-Marie Firestone, a Fatima nurse.

So why here? Why at Fatima has this been a priority?

"Statistically, nationwide, 25 percent of inpatients have diabetes and at Fatima, because we serve a large middle age to elder population, we recently reached nearly 40 percent of our inpatient population has diabetes," Firestone said.

The Gold Seal from the Joint Commission involves the evaluation of three core areas: compliance with consensus-based national standards, effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and an organized approach.

On a regular basis, they offer in-patient education at the hospital and field trips to supermarkets.

"And we actually pull things off the shelf, we mike our dietitian, kind of advise them as to what might be a better food choice, serving sizes and that sort of thing," Firestone said.

This is one of four Gold Seals the hospital has recently been awarded. Fatima has also received top grades for its primary stroke care and it is the only hospital in Rhode Island to get the Gold Seal for its hip and knee replacement program.