ECM Hospital’s palliative care unit is the only Joint Commission certified palliative care unit in the Alabama
Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The program recognizes hospital inpatient programs that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care in order to optimize the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses. ECM’s palliative care unit is currently the only palliative care unit in the state of Alabama to be certified by The Joint Commission.
“Certification is a voluntary process which instills confidence for our patients and the Shoals community,” said Cathy Shelton, RN, Supportive Care Services Coordinator at ECM Hospital. “By following the standards and protocols required for being a certified center, we know our patient’s symptoms and pain will be managed by the expertise and care of our specifically palliative care-trained nurses and physicians. We are also very fortunate to have two board certified palliative care physicians to maintain and run the program.”
The palliative care unit at ECM Hospital began in 2011 and was first certified in 2012. This is the second consecutive two-year certification.
“The standards for certification are high and I’m proud to say The Joint Commission re-certified the program without any recommendations for improvement. Our program met or exceeded every expectation. This is a major accomplishment and evidence that our staff continues to work together to deliver and maintain optimal palliative care services for those in our community.” said Russell Pigg, ECM Chief Executive Officer.
Joint Commission surveyors were on-site in early December and evaluated clinical practice guidelines and performance measurement and improvement activities. At ECM Hospital, patients can access palliative care as needed, 24 hours per day.
“When families are faced with a decision about end-of-life care, being a certified center gives people a peace of mind, knowing their loved ones will be well taken care,” said Robert Webb, Medical Director of the Supportive & Palliative Care Service at Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital.
The Joint Commission
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.