The Joint Commission (TJC) Advanced Certification for Palliative Care Programs
CAPC Presents: The Joint Commission Advanced Certification for Palliative Care
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The Joint Commission's new Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care is designed to recognize hospital inpatient programs that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care in order to optimize the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses. The Joint Commission recommends the following initial steps programs can take in preparation for submitting an application for Advanced Certification:
- Download The Joint Commission Palliative Care Standards form: Learn More
More information about the Standards is available below
- Complete a program self-assessment for missing elements
- Meet with a representative from your hospital QI (or equivalent department) familiar with Joint Commission Accreditation/Certification to review your self-assessment
- Develop an Action Plan to meet the missing elements
Listen to this podcast interview with Tammy Croney, Joint Commission Reviewer, as well as leaders of Joint Commission certified palliative care teams on the many benefits of the certification process:
News & Updates
CAPC has developed a guide to help palliative care programs successfully complete The Joint Commission (TJC) certification process: Download the Guide Now
Palliative Care Teleconference: Ask the Reviewer
On this recording you can listen to the palliative care reviewer discuss the good practices and common pitfalls seen in the first palliative care certification reviews.
For more information about the Advanced Certification for Palliative Care, please call The Joint Commission at (630) 792-5291, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit The Joint Commission online.
Join the Discussion: The Joint Commission Palliative Care Certification
Visit the National Palliative Care Registry
The Benefits of Joint Commission Advanced Certification for Palliative Care:
- Certification is an independent evaluation that validates the quality of your palliative care program
- The standards for certification will help your hospital build a better, more organized program that tailors treatment to patient goals and needs
- Certification evaluates ways your hospital can improve performance and clinical practice to improve patient care
- Certification will help your hospital achieve regular and more consistent flows of data and information
Tools and Resources
CAPC has gathered tools and resources from palliative care programs that you can use as examples to meet some of The Joint Commission standards.
Go to Tools & Resources
The Joint Commission has developed Standards for Palliative Care programs from available national guidelines in hospice and palliative care. These include standards that are specific to palliative care and additional standards that more broadly address issues such as privacy and security of medical records.
CAPC has developed a guide to help palliative care programs successfully complete The Joint Commission (TJC) certification process:
Performance Improvement Plan
The Joint Commission requires that all programs have a Performance Improvement Plan in place. The plan must include four improvement measures; at least two of the four should be clinical measures related to or identified in practice guidelines for the program. Measures should be evidence based, valid and reliable. Programs are expected to define the measures they will use at the time for the application and share four months of trended data at the time of the on-site visit.
Once an application is filed, a date will be set for a one-day, one-visitor, site visit to your program. Once you file an application, The Joint Commission will provide you with resource materials to help you prepare for the site visit.
To be eligible for the Advanced Certification for Palliative Care, a palliative care team must:
- Be in a Joint Commission-accredited hospital. All types of hospitals are eligible, including children's hospitals and long term, acute care hospitals. A dedicated unit or dedicated beds are not required.
- Provide the full range of palliative care services to hospitalized patients 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
- Have served a minimum of 10 patients and have at least one active patient at the time of the initial Joint Commission on-site review.
- Direct and coordinate the provision of palliative care, treatment and services (i.e., write orders, direct or coordinate activities of the patient care team, and influence composition of the patient care team).
- Have an organized interdisciplinary team.
- Collect data on a minimum of four performance measures. Four months of performance data must be available at the time of the initial on-site certification review.
Fees for Certification
Certification for Palliative Care is on a two-year cycle. The certification fee consists of two parts: an on-site fee, which is assessed every two years, and an annual subscription fee, which is billed each January. If the initial certification review is conducted in the middle of the calendar year, the first year's annual fee is pro-rated.
For the two-year certification cycle, the fees are:
The annual fee is always a separate fee. It is not combined with annual fees for any other certified disease-specific care programs.
How to Begin the Certification Process:
- The first step towards certifying a palliative care program is to review the standards
- Conduct a self-assessment of your program versus the standards
- Develop an action plan to address areas that need improvement
- Contact The Joint Commission to receive an application for certification
“Palliative care is focused on maximizing quality of life for seriously ill patients and their families. Over 1,500 leading U.S. hospitals today have a palliative care team, and Joint Commission recognition of the importance of palliative care to overall quality of care represents a giant step forward for the field. I know I am joined by colleagues across the country when I express my appreciation to The Joint Commission for helping to ensure that all palliative care teams deliver care of uniformly high quality.”
Diane E. Meier, MD, Director
Center to Advance Palliative Care & Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute