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Children's National Medical Center Earns National Respiratory Care Distinction

Washington, DC—Children’s National Medical Center has earned Quality Respiratory Care Recognition (QRCR) from the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). The designation is part of a national program to help patients and families make informed decisions about the quality of respiratory care services available in hospitals.

Only 15 percent of hospitals in the United States have applied for and received this award. Hospitals earning the QRCR designation ensure patient safety by agreeing to adhere to a strict set of criteria governing the practice of respiratory care. According to AARC, hospitals that meet the QRCR requirements provide a level of respiratory care consistent with national standards and guidelines and are to be commended for their commitment to quality care.

Scott Pettinichi, MEd, RRT, NPS, AE-C, leads the administration and professional development of respiratory care services at Children’s National.

“This recognition is a testament to the top-quality work of this team and of all our respiratory professionals,” said David Wessel, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Hospital and Specialty Services. “The entire team, including Division Chief, Venkat Shankar, MD, and Director, Scott Pettinichi, is committed to providing the very best care for the children they treat.”

Recognition from the AARC is based on several criteria:

  • All respiratory therapists employed by the hospital to deliver bedside respiratory care services are either legally recognized by the state or hold the CRT or RRT credential.
  • Respiratory therapists are available 24 hours a day.
  • The hospital designates in writing any other personnel qualified to perform specific respiratory procedures, as well as the amount of supervision required for personnel to carry out specific procedures.
  • A doctor of medicine or osteopathy is designated as medical director of respiratory care services.
  • Hospital policy prohibits the routine delivery of medicated aerosol treatments to multiple patients simultaneously. The circumstances under which this practice is permitted are defined by policy.
  • The hospital uses a process that periodically compares its respiratory department’s performance on efficiency and quality metrics with similar departments, to identify and achieve best practice.

The QRCR program developed out of growing concerns among health care leaders and the public about the safety and quality of health care services. AARC started the program in 2003 to help consumers identify health care facilities that use qualified respiratory therapists to provide respiratory care. AARC is an international membership organization representing more than 50,000 health professionals involved in the practice of respiratory care. More information for the public is available at

Contact: Emily Hartman or Paula Darte, 202-476-4500

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