2017 Outcomes in Palliative Care


Front Range Hospice and Palliative Care once again stands out among our competitors. As of April 14, 2017, Front Range Hospice and Palliative Care’s Palliative Care program was  certified by the Joint Commission. You’re probably asking why does that matter to you? Well let me tell you why it matters.

The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care launched in 2016. The program recognizes community based palliative care programs that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care and optimize the quality of life for adult patients with serious illnesses. Palliative care addresses a patient’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs, and facilitates patient autonomy, access to information and choice. The Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care from the Joint Commission emphasizes:

  • A formal, organized community based palliative care program led by an interdisciplinary team whose members have advanced training in palliative care.
  • Leadership endorsement and support of the program’s goals for providing care, treatment and services.
  • A special focus on patient and family engagement with advanced care planning.
  • Processes that support the coordination of care and communication among all providers in the community.
  • The use of evidence-based national guidelines or expert consensus to support patient care processes.
  • A full-time service, where patients can access palliative care as needed, 24 hours per day.

 Certification process
On-site certification reviews are conducted by reviewers with expertise in palliative care. The certification decision is based on the evaluation of standards, clinical practice guidelines, and performance measurement and improvement activities. Community Based Palliative Care programs that successfully demonstrate compliance are awarded certification for a two-year period. To maintain certification, the cycle repeats with an on-site review conducted every two years and a biannual submission of an acceptable assessment of compliance by the organization.

The standards for palliative care advanced certification are built on the National Consensus Project’s Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, 3rd edition 2013 and the National Quality Forum’s National Framework and Preferred Practices for Palliative and Hospice Care Quality. Standards and expectations were developed using experts in palliative care and key stakeholder organizations.

Performance measurement
To achieve certification, the community based palliative care programs must use performance improvement processes to improve care over time. Performance measures selected by the palliative program or service should and must be evidence-based, relevant, valid and reliable. Data collection for five performance measures is required. A minimum of four months of performance measure data must be available at the time of the initial on-site certification review.

Benefits of Joint Commission Certification

 Improves the quality of patient care by reducing variation in clinical processes The Joint Commission’s standards and emphasis on clinical practice guidelines help organizations establish a consistent approach to care, reducing the risk of error.

  • Provides a framework for program structure and management – Certification standards help organize the disease management program. This helps to maintain a consistently high level of quality, using effective data-driven performance improvement.
  • Provides an objective assessment of clinical excellence – Joint Commission reviewers have significant experience evaluating disease management programs. They are trained to provide expert advice and education on good practices during the on-site review.
  • Creates a loyal, cohesive clinical team – Certification provides an opportunity for staff to develop their skills and knowledge. Achieving certification provides the clinical team with common goals and a concrete validation of their combined efforts.
  • Promotes a culture of excellence across the organization – Meeting Joint Commission standards is an accomplishment recognized with the awarding of The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval®. Certified organizations proudly display the Gold Seal to advertise their commitment to health care quality.
  • Strengthens community confidence in the quality and safety of care, treatment, and services – Achieving certification makes a strong statement to the community about an organization’s efforts to provide the highest quality services.
  • Recognized by select insurers and other third parties – In some markets, certification is becoming a prerequisite to eligibility for insurance reimbursement, or participation for managed care plans and contract bidding.
  • Can fulfill regulatory requirements in select states – Certification may meet certain regulatory requirements in some states, which can reduce duplication on the part of certified organizations.Page1.jpg

We look forward to working with the patients in the communities we serve to assist them in creating their best days possible. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about our Community Based Palliative Care Program please call 303-657-3101 or 970-776-8080 you can also reach us at info@frhospice.com

About Front Range Hospice- Legendary Care

Front Range Hospice is a center for excellence in providing end-of-life care and we continue to strive to keep our company achieving distinction. Visit us at www.frhospice.com.
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