And the Evidence Shows Using Specialty Certification from The Joint Commission Improves Quality
Repository Posting Date2016-03-17T12:38:23Z
Author DetailsLeisha Buller, ACNP; Lindsey Canon, MSN; Ashley Hodo, MSN, RN
Session presented on Saturday, July 25, 2015: The Palliative Care Service (PCS) line at our 731 licensed-bed metropolitan-based facility recently received our first recertification for Advanced Palliative Care (APC) from The Joint Commission (TJC). Initial designation of this specialty certification facilitated the growth of our well-established adult PC program and our newly developed neonatal program (weeCARE). Seemingly counterintuitive, these two diverse populations served by our service by separate interdisciplinary teams (IDT) have become a unified service over the previous 2 years. Quality improvement opportunities were identified and structural homogeneity was achieved through a more stringent implementation of evidence-based guidelines within our PCS. This has led to a number of improvements within our service, from formalizing the structure of our service line, to improving the quality of care provided to patients and families, and most notably to our recent success in achieving our first recertification for APC from TJC. Initial certification was obtained in the latter part of November 2012. Although unsuccessful in receiving our official certification on the day of our site visit, we ultimately became certified 2 weeks later, following the implementation of our action plan. Recertification occurs biennially and throughout the maintenance phase, a number of quality improvement opportunities were identified and action plans were implemented, ultimately setting the stage for successful recertification. Through data analysis of our performance measures, we have augmented our IDT collaboration, improved care coordination, increased the number of family conferences, developed and implemented a PC-specific patient satisfaction survey, successfully identified our neonatal population and now our weeCARE Team even meets with expectant mothers prenatally, developed and implemented an organ donation after cardiac death for infants, participated in and spearheaded research studies, and have presented at both the national and international levels. We continue to identify quality improvements and reap the benefits that come with what this scrupulous certification.