Patient Care

URMC Palliative Care Program Earns Top National Certification

Oct. 30, 2017
Accreditation gold seal

The Palliative Care Program at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital has once again earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Palliative Care Certification.

The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality awarded to programs that demonstrate, through a rigorous onsite review, their commitment to and compliance with rigorous national quality standards, clinical practice guidelines, and performance improvement activities in palliative and hospice care.

“We are delighted to receive our third recertification in Advanced Palliative Care from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” said Robert K. Horowitz, M.D., Chief of the Division of Palliative Care at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital. “This recognizes our amazing team—from the caregivers who offer their healing presence at the bedside, to our administrators and clerical staff who coordinate and choreograph our complicated program—who come together to provide the best possible care to our community’s most seriously ill patients at their time of greatest need.”

Strong’s Palliative Care program’s mission is to ensure the best possible quality of life for seriously ill patients and their families through excellent clinical care, comprehensive education, compassionate support, innovative research, and ongoing performance improvement.

The program team includes nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, patient care technicians, researchers, social workers, chaplains, music practitioners, massage therapists, a bereavement coordinator, chaplains, researchers, administrators and clerical staff. The clinical team cares for patients in the hospital, the office, and patients’ homes, where the focus of care is management of pain and other symptoms, emotional and spiritual support, and guidance in clarifying goals of care.

“We recognize and commend the University of Rochester Medical Center for its efforts to provide palliative care services while emphasizing patients’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs,” said Patrick Phelan, executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission.

Through Strong’s program, URMC was the nation’s first academic medical center to achieve Advanced Certification for Palliative Care when the Joint Commission launched it in the Fall of 2011, and has maintained its high standards to earn recertification every two years since.