Lehigh Regional Medical Center has earned Quality Respiratory Care Recognition (QRCR) under a national program aimed at helping patients and families make informed decisions about the quality of the respiratory care services available in hospitals.
About 700 hospitals or approximately 15 percent of hospitals in the United States have received this award. The Respiratory Care Department at Lehigh Regional has attained and maintained this distinction for the third year in a row, said Diann Cimring, marketing director with LRMC.
The QRCR program was started by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) in 2003 to help consumers identify those facilities using qualified respiratory therapists to provide respiratory care. Hospitals earning the QRCR designation ensure patient safety by agreeing to adhere to a strict set of criteria governing their respiratory care services.
To qualify for the recognition, Lehigh Regional Medical Center provided documentation showing it meets the following conditions:
* All respiratory therapists employed by the hospital to deliver bedside respiratory care services are either legally recognized by the state as competent to provide respiratory care services or hold the CRT or RRT credential.
* Respiratory therapists are available 24 hours.
* Other personnel qualified to perform specific respiratory procedures and the amount of supervision required for personnel to carry out specific procedures must be designated in writing.
* A doctor of medicine or osteopathy is designated as medical director of respiratory care services.
n Hospital policy prohibits the routine delivery of medicated aerosol treatments utilizing small volume nebulizers, metered dose inhalers, or intermittent positive pressure treatments to multiple patients simultaneously. A circumstance under which this practice is permitted is defined by policy.
* Use a process that periodically compares performance of your respiratory department on efficiency and quality metrics with similar departments for the purpose of identifying an achieving best practice.
Hospitals that meet the QRCR requirements provide a level of respiratory care consistent with national standards and guidelines, and should be commended for their commitment to quality care, Cimring said.
Respiratory therapists are specially trained health care professionals who work under physician's orders to provide a wide range of breathing treatments and other services to people with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, AIDS, and other lung or lung-related conditions. They also care for premature infants and are key members of lifesaving response teams charged with handling medical emergencies.
The AARC is a membership organization representing more than 50,000 health professionals involved in respiratory care nationwide. Lehigh Regional Medical Center is located at 1500 Lee Blvd., Lehigh Acres.