story by Cindy Reid photo by Paul Nurnberg
Friends of Caroline Hospice is a non-profit organization serving the Lowcountry and its residents for over thirty seven years. Their story began in 1977, when a young local woman named Caroline Sue Quann died of cancer at age 31. In order to honor her wishes to be at home for her final days, as well as die with grace and dignity, her friends resolved to provide her with companionship and medical care. This marked the founding of the Friends of Caroline Hospice, the first non-profit hospice organization in Beaufort County, South Carolina.
Friends of Caroline (FOCH) provides quality-of-life care that offers hope and encouragement to those nearing the end-of-life’s journey and support for their family, friends and the community.
Recently, the FOCH became Joint Commission accredited. This prestigious accreditation acknowledges that the FOCH delivers “Gold Standard” care.
About the Joint Commission
An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.
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Joint Commission state-of-the-art standards are the basis of an objective evaluation process and can help organizations measure, assess and improve performance. The standards focus on important patient, individual or resident care and organization functions that are essential to providing safe, high-quality care.
Joint Commission standards are developed with input from health care professionals, providers, subject matter experts, consumers, and government agencies (including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). They are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus. New standards are added only if they relate to patient safety or quality of care, have a positive impact on health outcomes, meet or surpass law and regulation, and can be accurately and readily measured.
Beaufort Lifestyle spoke with Eileen Filan, RN, Clinical Coordinator at FOCH about the JCAHO accreditation.
What is the process to become Joint Commission accredited?
The Joint Commission is the “Gold Standard” in health care accreditation. It begins with an onsite objective survey lasting three days. The surveyors conduct interviews with staff and review organizational practices, including documentation and patient care. They review the findings of the survey with the entire team. It was an extremely productive and exciting process for all of us! After a period of time we heard back from them and we received our accreditation.
How does this impact or measure patient care?
I work at Friends of Caroline because it is the oldest hospice and is a non-profit that has and always been committed to excellent care. Now that we are JCAHO accredited we have an organization that is acknowledged to be committed to excellence and to be the ‘Gold Standard’ of hospice care. JCAHO accreditation helps us to implement the highest quality of care to out patients with increased measurable performance goals.
How does this impact staff education?
Education here at Friends has always been a priority, including monthly education as well as yearly education in house and the off – site annual Hospice Palliative Conference, as well as individualized off site education for all disciplines. Since the accreditation we now have increased educational, goals for the specialized care of our patients including more specific plans of care that work for our patients and their care givers and involved family members.
Is there a safety focus?
Absolutely. Safety for patients, families and staff. Teaching on Oxygen and Medication safety as well as cough, flu and prevention of spread of infection.
How does this distinguish Friends of Caroline Hospice?
As I previously stated, we are a non-profit that was the first hospice in Beaufort, now here for 38 years! We have a great team and a great Executive Director who are totally committed to giving the best quality care for all our Hospice and Palliative patients. Now that our Palliative care program has been JCAHO accredited, we are more committed to measurable quality care then ever. I am proud and honored to be a member of the Friends team.
The Friends of Caroline Hospice Thrift Store benefits FOCH and helps support their patients and their families. The store is staffed by volunteers and filled with clothing for men, women and children. Find general household items, books, small furniture, toys and many more items.
FOCH also holds annual community events. The four main events are Festival of Trees in early December, the Gingerbread 5K in mid-December, Bands Brews & BBQ in February and the annual Fashion for Compassion fashion show in April.
For further information:
Friends of Caroline Hospice is located at
1110 13th Street, Port Royal, SC 29935
Phone: 843-525-6257 Fax: 843-525-9418
“We are available 24/7. Please feel free to stop by or call anytime.”
The FOCH Thrift Shop is located at 1100 Ribaut Road, Beaufort, SC.