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Vidant Health hospitals earn national recognition for quality respiratory care

April 30, 2013 posted by Barbara Dunn

GREENVILLE – Vidant Beaufort Hospital and Vidant Medical Center have 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. 

Kathy Simpson, vice president of patient care services at Vidant Beaufort Hospital, said, “We are very proud of our respiratory staff for all of their hard work to earn this recognition. This is a testament to their focus on quality care and great patient experience.”

“I am extremely proud that the superior care provided daily by our respiratory therapists has earned us this recognition from AARC for the fifth year in a row,” said Alene Warden, manager of cardiopulmonary department at Vidant Beaufort Hospital.  “It is an honor to work with such an outstanding group of professionals.”

Steve Lawler, president of Vidant Medical Center, said the recognition affirms the hospital’s staff’s efforts to provide first-class care and an incredible experience.

“It certainly connects to our mission which is to enhance the quality of life for the people and communities we serve, touch, and support,” Lawler said. “The respiratory therapy team is critical to the success of our ability to provide life-saving care to patients.”

Skip Bangley, manager of respiratory care at Vidant Medical Center, said, “This is another way that Vidant Health is helping to lead the way in taking care of our community. I am very proud of the respiratory care practitioners and their never-ending passion to do the right thing every time.”

About 700 hospitals, or 15 percent of hospitals in the U. S. have applied for and received this award.

The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) began the QRCR program in 2003 to help consumers identify those facilities using qualified respiratory therapists to provide respiratory care. Hospitals earning the five-year 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, Vidant Beaufort Hospital and Vidant Medical Center provided documentation showing they meet 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 certified respiratory technician (CRT) or registered respiratory therapist (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.
  • Hospital policy prohibits the routine delivery of medicated aerosol treatments using small volume nebulizers, metered dose inhalers, or intermittent positive pressure treatments to multiple patients simultaneously. Circumstances under which this practice is permitted is defined by policy.
  • Use a process that periodically compares performance of their respiratory departments on efficiency and quality metrics with similar departments for the purpose of identifying an achieving best practice.

The association’s QRCR program grew out of growing concerns among health care leaders and the general public about the safety and quality of health care services provided to patients. Hospitals that meet the QRCR requirements provide a level of respiratory care consistent with national standards and guidelines.

Respiratory therapists are specially trained health care professionals who work under physicians’ 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. Vidant Medical Center has 115 respiratory care staff members, and Vidant Beaufort Hospital has 16 employees in its cardiopulmonary department.

The AARC is a membership organization representing more than 50,000 health professionals involved in respiratory care nationwide.

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