Yolo Hospice and YoloCares today announced it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for community-based palliative care, the third in Northern California and the first in Yolo County. Yolo Hospice also received The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for home care,
by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective care.
Established in 1988, The Joint Commission’s Home Care Accreditation Program supports the efforts of its accredited organizations to help deliver safe, high quality care and services. Only 14% of companies or organizations providing home care in the United States have received The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal. Yolo Hospice is the only one based in Yolo County.
“Accreditation was written into our strategic plan goals three years ago,” said Craig Dresang, CEO. “Our staff has worked diligently to achieve this honor and we are very proud to receive our gold seal of approval.”
Yolo Hospice underwent a rigorous onsite survey during the first week of April. During the survey, compliance with home care standards reflecting key organization areas was evaluated, including the provision of care, treatment and services, emergency management, human resources, individual rights and responsibilities, and leadership. The accreditation process also provided Yolo Hospice with education and guidance to help staff continue to improve its performance.
“Seeking Joint Commission Accreditation brought our staff deep into the intricacies of the elements of performance and care,” according to Gwendolyn Kaltoft, RN, EdD, Chief Operations and Compliance Officer. “The power of achieving Joint Commission Accreditation is not just the prestige but, more importantly, having the process as a tool for continuous improvement.”
The Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care is relatively new, launched in 2011. The certification recognizes programs that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care in order to optimize the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses. Palliative care is specialized medical care focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and the stress of a serious illness, whatever the diagnosis or prognosis. Including Yolo Hospice, there are only 28 certified programs in the United States. Two others are located in northern California, both in the Bay Area.
“When individuals engage a provider of care in the home, they want to be sure that provider is capable of providing safe, quality care,” said Margherita Labson, RN, MS, executive director, Home Care Accreditation Program, The Joint Commission. “As the home care setting becomes increasingly popular, it is important that those providers are able to demonstrate that they are capable of providing safe, high quality care. Accreditation by The Joint Commission serves as an indication that the organization has demonstrated compliance to these recognized standards of safe and quality care.”
The Joint Commission’s home care standards are developed in consultation with health care experts, home care providers and researchers, as well as industry experts, purchasers and consumers. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help organizations measure, assess and improve performance.
“This was truly a 360-degree effort by everyone on our team,” said Dresang. “It doesn’t end with this first accreditation. This will require an ongoing commitment by the organization to maintain this status. Those efforts will influence the clinical operations of Yolo Hospice to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to our patients and families.”
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.