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Kaiser Permanente Hawaii’s Palliative Care Earns Perfect Accreditation Score

May 12, 2014

Woman nurse using stethoscope on man in a hospital

HONOLULU — Kaiser Permanente Hawaii’s Palliative Care Program received a perfect score based on 158 criteria in its recent accreditation by The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii is the first Kaiser Permanente facility in the nation to receive this certification.

“Palliative care is meant to ease the pain, worry and distress of a patient living with an advanced illness,” said Carolin Hubbard, MD, lead physician, Palliative Care. “Quality palliative care gives families time and a safe space to explore difficult issues in a supportive and caring environment.”

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The Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Palliative Care Program met The Joint Commission’s standards based on:

  • A formal, organized palliative care program led by an interdisciplinary team whose members have advanced training in palliative care (Kaiser Permanente Hawaii’s team consists of a physician, nurse, social worker and chaplain)
  • Leadership endorsement and support of the program’s goals for providing care, treatment and services
  • A special focus on patient and family engagement
  • Processes which support the coordination of care and communication among all care settings and providers
  • The use of evidence-based national guidelines or expert consensus to support patient care processes

“We are proud to receive this accreditation and be a model for quality palliative care,” said Aleza Matayoshi, MD, chief, Continuing Care Department. “In alignment with our integrated care philosophy, our palliative care program brings a team approach to caring for the mind, body and spirit of our patients and their families.”

Launched in September 2011, a national, not-for-profit health care accrediting organization, 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. Palliative care addresses a patient’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs and facilitates patient autonomy, access to information and choice.

joint commission logoCertification process
On-site certification reviews are conducted by reviewers with expertise in palliative care. The certification decision is based on the evaluation of standards, clinical practice guidelines and performance measurement and improvement activities. Palliative care programs that successfully demonstrate compliance are awarded certification for a two-year period. To maintain certification, the cycle repeats with an on-site review conducted every two years and a bi-annual submission of an acceptable assessment of compliance by the organization.

About Kaiser Permanente Hawaii
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has provided total health to the people of Hawaii for more than 50 years, with physicians who are members of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, the largest multi-specialty physician group practice in the state of Hawaii. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. Visit for additional information. Become a fan of good health with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii: Like our page at and follow @KPHawaii on Twitter.