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Northwest Kidney Centers Hospital Services Department Awarded Joint Commission Certification.

SEATTLE, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The hospital services department at Northwest Kidney Centers (NKC) has achieved the Gold Seal of Approval(TM) for health care staffing services from The Joint Commission. An independent, not-for-profit organization, the Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

In addition to its stand-alone dialysis centers, NKC has a 55-member hospital services staff providing 11,000 dialysis treatments a year within 10 King County hospitals. Late last year that NKC hospital services department underwent an unannounced, on-site review of its compliance with national standards. Among the areas the Joint Commission reviews are how staffing firms determine the qualifications and competency of their employees, how they place them, and how they monitor performance.

"Health care organizations that contract with Northwest Kidney Centers can look to this certification as an assurance that NKC demonstrates a commitment to providing and continuously improving quality services," said Michele Sacco, the Joint Commission's executive director of health care staffing services certification.

Ongoing shortages of nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals have forced health care organizations to increasingly fill positions through contractual arrangements with staffing firms. The Joint Commission's certification program offers an independent, comprehensive evaluation of a staffing firm's services.

"Certification recognizes NKC's dedication to providing nurses and technicians who are well-qualified to deliver the highest caliber care to patients, whether in one of our 13 dialysis centers or in a hospital," said NKC president and chief executive officer Joyce F. Jackson. "We're proud to receive the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval."

The Joint Commission (http://www.jointcommission.org/) evaluates and accredits more than 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.

Northwest Kidney Centers, established in 1962 as the world's first outpatient dialysis facility, is a model for saving and sustaining the lives of people with chronic kidney disease, focusing on improving the quality of patients' lives. A not-for-profit organization, Northwest Kidney Centers provides personalized care for patients in the Puget Sound region. The organization is the central community resource for kidney disease prevention, treatment and education. A world pioneer in home dialysis, Northwest Kidney Centers is dedicated to developing innovative treatment options and promoting research to find the cure for chronic kidney disease. For more information, see http://www.nwkidney.org/.

CONTACT: Linda Sellers, Public Relations Manager of Northwest Kidney Centers, +1-206-292-2771, ext. 5357, sellersl@nwkidney.org

Web Site: http://www.nwkidney.org/
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Date:Feb 20, 2009
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