Five hospitals receive first palliative care certifications

Joint Commission standards emphasize patient engagement

Topics: Quality, Performance Improvement, Palliative Care, Methodologies

February 28, 2012

The Joint Commission this week awarded its first advanced certifications for palliative care to five hospitals that it said demonstrated a focus on patient-centered treatment and teamwork.

The five hospitals that received advanced certifications are:

  • Regions Hospital (St. Paul, Minn.);
  • Strong Memorial Hospital (Rochester, N.Y.);
  • Mt. Sinai Medical Center (New York City); 
  • St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (Pontiac, Mich.); and 
  • The Connecticut Hospice, Inc. (Branford, Conn.).

Specifically, The Joint Commission said the hospitals showed that they have a formal palliative care program headed by an interdisciplinary team, leadership support, a focus on patient and family engagement, and processes to coordinate care among providers. The facilities also use evidence-based national guidelines or expert consensus to guide care decisions.

"Seriously ill patients will benefit from the decision by these five leading hospitals to follow national standards and evidence-based guidelines that emphasize the need for expert caregivers to work together as teams with patients and their families," says Michele Sacco, an executive director at The Joint Commission. "Certification signifies that these hospitals are committed to patient and family-centered care to optimize the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses" (Joint Commission release, 2/27; Carlson, Modern Healthcare, 2/27 [subscription required]).

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