Beaumont, Royal Oak awarded certification for palliative care by Joint Commission


Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its palliative care program by demonstrating compliance with national standards for health care quality and safety.

The Joint Commission performed a rigorous on-site review of Beaumont’s palliative care program in May. Beaumont, Royal Oak was evaluated for compliance with palliative care-specific standards, clinical practice guidelines and performance measures. The Advanced Certification for Palliative Care standards focus on patient and family-centered care in order to improve the quality of life for patients with serious illness.

“In achieving Joint Commission advanced certification, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for patients with serious illness,” says Michele Sacco, M.S., executive director, Advanced Certification for Palliative Care, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and I commend Beaumont, Royal Oak for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the communities it serves.”

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness - whatever the diagnosis. It addresses a patient’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs and facilitates patient autonomy, access to information and choice.

“The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work with a patient’s doctors to provide an extra layer of support,” explains Angela Chmielewski, M.D., director, Palliative Care, Beaumont, Royal Oak.  “Palliative care is appropriate at any age and any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative care.”

Palliative care is often confused with hospice care. They are not the same. Palliative care can be given together with aggressive/curative care, such as chemotherapy, radiation treatments, dialysis and surgery. It may be given to any patient with serious illness, not just those patients with a terminal illness.

Adds Dr. Chmielewski, “With Joint Commission advanced certification, we are making a significant investment in quality on a day-to-day basis. This certification is a major step toward maintaining excellence and continually improving the care we provide.”

The Joint Commission’s palliative care certification standards were launched in 2011. Certification is available only to Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and provides the framework for a formal, organized palliative care program led by:

  • An interdisciplinary team whose members possess the expertise in palliative care
  • Leadership endorsement and support of the program’s goals for providing care, treatment and services
  • A special focus on patient and family engagement
  • Processes that support the coordination of care and communication among all care settings and providers

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About Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs such as stroke, heart failure, joint replacement and stroke rehabilitation, and 400 health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at

About Beaumont, Royal Oak

Beaumont’s 1,070-bed hospital in Royal Oak is a major academic, research and referral center with Level I trauma designation.  It was named Michigan’s first Magnet-designated hospital for nursing excellence and is a member of the Children’s Hospital Association. The hospital ranks among the top hospitals in the United States for inpatient admissions and for surgical volume. Beaumont, Royal Oak has been named the “most preferred hospital” in a five-county area for 18 consecutive years in a consumer survey by National Research Corporation. The hospital is also ranked No. 1 in Michigan based on its national rankings in 10 medical specialties on the U.S. News & World Report’s“America’s Best Hospitals” 2014-15 lists and is recognized as a Top Ten Quality Leader by the University HealthSystem Consortium. Beaumont is the exclusive clinical teaching site for the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. Visit Beaumont’s website at