Enhanced Respiratory Care Accredited Facilities: A September 1, 2023 Update

From the Desk of Executive Director on the Enhanced Respiratory Care Accreditations.

By Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

On April 20, 2023, we announced that accreditation for healthcare facilities for Enhanced Respiratory Care was available. 

Although just launched in April 2023, there are now about 20 healthcare facilities that are accredited, are in quality reviews, or are in discussions about Enhanced Respiratory Care Accreditation. These accreditations are in 6 different states and 3 different countries! For more information, please on the PDF below.

The Enhanced Respiratory Care Program is endorsed and supported by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) (see AARC letter of endorsement and support). This Program has achieved liberation rates of 65% and earned national recognition of best practice/center of excellence from the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST).

The Enhanced Respiratory Care Program has, for the first time, established a national standard of respiratory care. This standard was set by the Enhanced Respiratory Care Standards Committee:

  • Thomas M. Fuhrman, MD, MMSc, FCCP Chief of Anesthesia, Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Healthcare System – Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Clyde Heflin MD, FACCP – Pulmonologist – Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Pam Clayton RN, LNHA – VP Quality, Regulatory Affairs at GA Health Care Association
  • Carrie Ermshar MBA, LNHA – Senior Care Executive Consultant, Houston, Texas
  • William Beal RRT, Massachusetts Board of Respiratory Care – Norwell, Massachusetts
  • Lisa Zaenger RRT, VP of Staffing at PEL/VIP – Oak Lawn, Illinois
  • Zachary Gantt RRT, FAARC, President and CEO Encore HealthCare – Livingston, Tennessee

The Enhanced Respiratory Care Program consists of two parts:

  • Accreditation
    • Purpose – Accredit facilities in mechanical ventilation weaning, which accreditation process will ensure the facility has personnel certified in ventilator weaning and is able to demonstrate the ability to successfully wean patients off of prolonged mechanical ventilation. 
    • Benefits of Accreditation:
      • Improved Outcomes – Enhanced Respiratory Care Accreditation provides benchmarks for measuring how an organization is performing compared to a national standard of care and against competitors.
      • Enhancing Staff Education – The Enhanced Respiratory Care Accreditation process is designed to be educational. Enhanced Respiratory Care Accreditation process offers suggestions for approaches and strategies that may help healthcare facilities better meet the intent of the standards and, more importantly, improve the performance of day-to-day operations.
      • Improved Liability Insurance Coverage – Improving patient safety and the quality of patient care reduces liability exposure for healthcare facilities. Moreover, by enhancing risk management efforts, Enhanced Respiratory Care Accreditation may improve access to, or reduce the cost of liability insurance coverage.
      • Reimbursement Recognition – Many healthcare facilities that have implemented the Enhanced Respiratory Care program have received increased reimbursement from healthcare payers.
      • Providing a Competitive Advantage – Achieving Enhanced Respiratory Care Accreditation is a visible demonstration to patients and the community that the accredited facility is committed to providing the highest quality services. It also sets that facility apart from other healthcare facilities offering the same types of procedures.
  • Certification
    • Purpose – A certification course for individuals to be trained on the latest research and technology to wean patients off of prolonged mechanical ventilation.
    • The Course Modules for the Enhanced Respiratory Care program consist of online and hands-on learning in:
      • Culture of a Weaning Program
      • Resident Selection
      • Quality of Life
      • Weaning Approaches
      • Ventilator Unit Technology/Equipment
      • Discharge Processes
      • Process Improvement
    • Continuing Medical Education – The Enhanced Respiratory Care courses have been submitted for continuing medical education (CME) credits and we expect these courses to be available to be taken online at the end of 2023.

Certification and accreditation have been developed with Gene Gantt, RRT, FAARC (Member, Board of Advisors, PPAHS) who designed and implemented this Program in Tennessee since 20021 as part of the TennCare Program to provide enhanced respiratory care. 

I would also like to personally thank our corporate sponsors – Breas, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, and Vapotherm, who share our desire to improve patient safety and the quality of care for all patients being administered mechanical ventilation.


Leave a Comment, if You Care About Patient Safety