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LifeCare Hospitals of Chester County Earns Respiratory Failure Certification

Hospital is first in Pennsylvania to earn designation from The Joint Commission

CHESTER COUNTY, Pa., March 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- LifeCare Hospitals of Chester County has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval® for Disease-Specific Respiratory Failure Certification. The certification is a symbol of the level of quality and clinical excellence the hospital's Respiratory Failure program demonstrates through its commitment to providing safe and effective patient care. The 39-bed hospital, located on the Chester County Hospital campus, is the first in the state of Pennsylvania to achieve this designation.

(PRNewsfoto/LifeCare Health Partners)

To qualify for this award, LifeCare Hospitals of Chester County underwent a rigorous on-site review, where a Joint Commission surveyor reviewed clinical practice guidelines and performance measures. 

"I am proud to announce this exemplary achievement LifeCare Hospitals of Chester County earned in receiving the Respiratory Failure Disease-Specific Certification," said Joe Bryant, Area CEO at LifeCare Hospitals of Chester County. "I am very proud of all of the tremendous caregivers who have made this happen."

The Joint Commission's Disease-Specific Care Certification, which is awarded for a two-year period, evaluates clinical programs across the continuum of care and addresses three core areas:

  • Compliance with consensus-based national standards
  • Effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care
  • An organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities

This certification comes on the heels of another national recognition for the hospital's Respiratory Therapy program. Earlier this year, LifeCare Hospitals of Chester County received the American Association for Respiratory Care's APEX Award for the second consecutive year. The APEX Award recognizes the significant contribution of respiratory therapists and highlights best practices in respiratory care that are aligned with evidence-based medicine. LifeCare Hospitals of Chester County is the first and only LTACH in the United States to receive this award for the 2017-2018 and 2019-2020 terms.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, respiratory failure is a condition in which not enough oxygen passes from the lungs into the blood. Diseases and conditions that impair breathing, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), can cause respiratory failure. Signs and symptoms include: low blood oxygen levels that cause "air hunger" (feeling like you can't breathe in enough air), bluish color on the skin, lips or fingernails, rapid breathing and confusion, sleepiness and irregular heartbeats.

"Our therapists provide individualized care for patients needing respiratory interventions," said Lisa Pope, RRT, Director of Respiratory Care and Laboratory at LifeCare Hospitals of Chester County. "Although we work by specific protocols, we also understand that each person's weaning process will be different, so we are constantly evaluating our patients and trying to think about the best next step – daily and sometimes hourly."

LifeCare Hospitals of Chester County has offered respiratory therapy services to the Chester County community for nearly 14 years. The Respiratory Failure program was established in 2018, and in the last six months of the year, treated more than 200 patients with acute respiratory failure, chronic respiratory failure, and those who are ventilator-dependent.  Last year, the program implemented a new standard of care for patients weaning from ventilators to trach collars – a mask-free, non-invasive positive pressure ventilation treatment called Vapotherm®. The Respiratory team has seen positive outcomes with patients, especially in their comfort in the transition to spontaneous breathing. 

"We feel as though we have sharpened our skills during the process of developing the program and achieving this certification," Pope said. "However, it's not just about receiving a special award, it's about providing our patients with the best possible chance for recovery. In our environment, with the most medically complex of patients, we know that for many this could be their last chance for recovery, and all of our staff, therapists, nurses, aides, and support staff, take that very seriously."

About LifeCare Health Partners

LifeCare Health Partners, headquartered in Plano, Texas, is a leading health care services provider dedicated to improving the quality of life for patients and maximizing their potential for healing and recovery. The company encompasses the LifeCare Family of Hospitals as well as a variety of post-acute services including transitional care, inpatient and outpatient behavioral health treatment and home-based care. Learn more at www.lifecarehealthpartners.com.

Contact: Dana Coleman, Lovell Communications
Phone: 615.297.7766
Email: dana@lovell.com

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