Hackensack University Medical Center is proud to announce that the Pain & Palliative Medicine Institute became the first Joint Commission-Certified program in New Jersey. Based on a December 6 visit from a Joint Commission surveyor, HackensackUMC received its 19thGold Seal of Approval®, remaining the most awarded hospital in the country.
“What an honor it is to be the first hospital in the state to be recognized for our Pain & Palliative program,” said Robert C. Garrett, president and chief executive officer of Hackensack University Health Network. “HackensackUMC is a patient- and family-centered medical center that puts the needs of our patients first. Our commitment to pain and palliative medicine is another example of the ways in which we strive to provide the best possible care in the most comfortable environment. Congratulations to Dr. Joe Contreras, chairman of our Pain & Palliative Medicine Institute; Dr. Jamie Beversdorf, chief of Pediatric Pain & Palliative Care; Theresa Ebel, administrative director of the Pain & Palliative Medicine Institute; and their entire team for attaining such a remarkable distinction in care.”
Launched in September 2011, The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care recognizes hospital inpatient programs that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care and optimize the quality of life for patients (both adult and pediatric) with serious illness. HackensackUMC received the Gold Seal of Approval® based on its best practices, “first time seen” practices, staff engagement, and complete immersion of palliative care culture.
The Pain & Palliative Medicine Institute at HackensackUMC, developed in 2008, includes collaboration between the patient and the multidisciplinary team that focuses on relieving stress, pain and uncontrolled symptoms of patients with serious illness. The Pain & Palliative team - comprised of staff such as physicians, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, pharmacists, pastoral care members, and ethicists - strives to ease suffering and offer patients the best possible quality of life. The team works with the rest of the patient’s medical team to complement treatment being received. Services range from pain relief, to advanced care planning, to coordination of care.
“We have been working on this application for Joint Commission certification since 2011, and we are very proud to receive this designation,” said Dr. Contreras. “Pain and palliative care applies to patients across the continuum of care – no matter what illness they are facing or the type of care they receive. As part of our best practice, our Palliative Care Task Force has developed a policy where every admitted patient is assessed for pain and palliative needs, ensuring a new level of comfort and attention afforded to patients who need it most.”