CARY, N.C. (April 19, 2021)—As the number of people affected by serious illnesses continues to rise, many patients are turning to palliative care to cope with pain and better manage their conditions. Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) recognizes the growing value of these services and is launching a Palliative Care Accreditation program to advance quality of care and improve patient outcomes.
“Palliative care is emerging as an effective way to help seriously ill patients address symptoms and maximize their quality of life,” said Barbara Provini, ACHC Program Manager. “It is quickly spreading from hospital-based care to outpatient community-based providers, offering more options for patients. Achieving accreditation enables palliative care programs to certify they are providing safe, quality care backed by national standards.”
Palliative care is delivered by a specially trained team that works with a patient’s primary care practitioner to provide an extra layer of support and comfort, addressing medical, physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual needs of the patient.
Although historically linked with end-of-life hospice care, palliative care is based on the needs of the patient and is expanding to include specialized services for all patients with serious illnesses, regardless of their age or prognosis. Patients receiving palliative care can still receive curative treatment, and care is appropriate during any stage of a serious illness.
Palliative care focuses on relieving symptoms and stress for patients, with a goal of improving quality of life for both the patient and their family. This often results in fewer hospitalizations and lower costs, improved consistency in care, and broader patient access to information and care choices.
ACHC Palliative Care Accreditation offers organizations a reliable way to gain recognition for providing the highest quality patient care and improving business operations. Our standards focus on industry best practices and were based on the National Consensus Project Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care.
Accreditation is available for any organization that offers a robust palliative care program. For home health, hospice and private duty providers accredited by ACHC, a Distinction in Palliative Care is another option to recognize this focused expertise when it is used as a bridge to other services.
To learn more about Palliative Care Accreditation and Distinction in Palliative Care options from ACHC, visit achc.org.