Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) was recently honored with two national accolades for excellence in respiratory care. It is the only children’s hospital on the West Coast — and just one of five in the nation — to receive the 2023 – 2024 American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) Apex Recognition Award. Additionally, CHOC’s asthma program was recognized with the Gold Seal of Approval ® for Pediatric Asthma Certification from The Joint Commission (TJC). CHOC is the 10th pediatric hospital in the country to receive the prestigious TJC certification.
“Although respiratory care practitioners have been essential members of healthcare teams for decades, the last three years have certainly underscored the critical role they play in enhancing patient outcomes and saving lives,” said CHOC Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Melanie Patterson, DNP, MHA, RN. “I am very proud of our respiratory care team for their unwavering commitment to the highest standards of safe, quality care. They are very deserving of these awards.”
This is the third time CHOC has earned the APEX award, which was established by AARC in 2017 to distinguish hospitals for performing best practices in the respiratory care profession. Respiratory care departments must demonstrate their commitment to excellence in professional development, evidence-based care, patient safety, and quality improvement.
The Gold Seal of Approval ® from TJC, an independent, nonprofit organization that is thenation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care, is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe, effective patient care. To earn the two-year certification, hospitals must submit quality and outcomes metrics and host a site review with TJC to evaluate compliance with national disease-specific care standards and pediatric asthma-specific requirements. In 2021, CHOC’s asthma program was certified by JTC as a “Center of Excellence” (COE). At that time, the program was the 13th in the nation and just the third in the state to earn COE recognition.
“Both the APEX award and the Gold Seal of Approval® highlight the hard work and dedication of our respiratory care practitioners. These healthcare professionals provide compassionate, evidence-based care to our patients, while continuing to advance their knowledge and their field. They are inspiring Defenders of Childhood,” said Director of Respiratory, Pulmonology and Asthma Program at CHOC, Emilee Lamorena, MSc, RRT, RRT-NPS.