West Palm Beach, Florida (February 9, 2009)
– The Pulmonary Services Program at St. Mary’s Medical Center has received Quality Respiratory Care Recognition by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). This recognition is provided by the AARC to help consumers identify those facilities using qualified respiratory therapists to provide respiratory care 24 hours a day.
About 700 hospitals or approximately 15 percent of hospitals in the United States have applied for and received this award.
Hospitals earning the QRCR designation ensure patient safety by agreeing to adhere to a strict set of criteria governing their respiratory care services. To qualify for the recognition, St. Mary’s provided documentation showing it meets the following conditions:
- All respiratory therapists employed at St. Mary’s to deliver bedside respiratory care services are legally recognized by the state of Florida as competent to provide these services and are registered or certified by the National Board for Respiratory Care.
- Respiratory therapists are available 24 hours.
- Other personnel qualified to perform specific respiratory procedures and the amount of supervision required for personnel to carry out specific procedures must be designated in writing.
- A doctor of medicine or osteopathy is the medical director for respiratory care.
Pulmonary Services at St. Mary’s employs 29 registered and 10 certified respiratory therapists who are also licensed by the state. The average length of employment at St. Mary’s for these therapists is about 10 years.
“The respiratory therapists at St. Mary’s are key members of our lifesaving response teams charged with handling medical emergencies,” said Dr. Alan Rosen, medical director for Pulmonary Services. “Several have passed the National Board for Respiratory Care’s Perinatal/Pediatric Specialty Examination, and some have also crossed trained to work in the hyperbaric chamber – becoming certified by the National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Technology.”