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Lafayette - The University Medical Center (UMC) Respiratory Therapy Department has earned Quality Respiratory Care Recognition (QRCR) from the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC).  The QRCR designation ensures quality respiratory care in a hospital and helps patients and families make informed decisions about the quality of the respiratory care services available at the institution of their choice. 

“The UMC respiratory therapy department receiving QRC recognition is another indication of the quality health care that UMC provides,” said Larry Dorsey, UMC hospital administrator. “UMC holds the respiratory care staff in high esteem.”

About 700 hospitals in the United States, or approximately 15 percent, have received the QRCR designation, which places UMC among the elite for respiratory care in the nation, reflecting the high level of respiratory expertise at UMC.

“The UMC Respiratory Therapy Department provides therapeutic and diagnostic respiratory services in a timely and cost-effective manner,” said Peggy Pennison, RRT, RPFT, UMC cardiopulmonary manager.   “Respiratory care is provided to patients of all ages and to both inpatient and outpatient populations while our staff maintains high standards of professional integrity and fosters an educational environment.”

In 2003 the AARC began awarding QRCR status to help consumers identify facilities using qualified respiratory therapists for respiratory care.  The AARC is a membership organization representing more than 46,000 health professionals in the field of respiratory care nationwide.   Hospitals earning the QRCR designation ensure patient safety by agreeing to adhere to a strict set of criteria governing their respiratory care services. 

Criteria for QRCR include the following: all respiratory therapists in the facility hold certified respiratory therapist (CRT) or registered respiratory therapist (RRT) credentials or are legally recognized by the state as competent to provide respiratory care services; respiratory therapists are available twenty-four hours of the day; 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; and a doctor of medicine or osteopathy is designated as medical director of respiratory care services.   

QRCR designated hospitals provide a level of respiratory care consistent with national standards.  A list of QRCR hospitals is available at the AARC website, YourLungHealth.org.

Respiratory therapists are specially trained health care professionals who work under physician’s orders to provide a wide range of breathing treatments and other services to patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, AIDS, and other lung or lung-related conditions.  They care for premature infants and are key members of lifesaving rapid response teams in medical emergencies.