February 26, 2004
HOUSTON, TX - The Health Call Center, known as the VA Network Telecare Center, at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was awarded Health Call Center Accreditation on December 1, 2003 from URAC, a Washington, DC-based health care accrediting organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry.
URAC's Health Call Center Accreditation standards require companies to establish a process to assess, plan, and implement call center interventions.
"The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center is honored to receive Health Call Center Accreditation from URAC for our VA Network Telecare Center," said Edgar L. Tucker, director of the MEDVAMC. "We are very pleased to be recognized in the industry for providing outstanding services. Such a distinction also underscores the quality of our work with veterans and health care providers by demonstrating compliance with national standards for call center services."
Professionally trained registered nurses at the VA Network Telecare Center are ready to help answer veteran health care questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The South Central VA Health Care Network created its Telecare Center as part of its on-going efforts to provide veterans with timely health care information. All telephone calls are answered by a staff of professionals who are experienced in telephone assessment of medical situations and crisis intervention. To help veterans who call, nurses use their training and experience as well as other readily available resources. Telecare nurses provide both medical and emotional support. They are trained to provide symptom analysis, instruct on first aid procedures, help with stress and anxiety, answer medication questions, explain lab test results, educate patients about specific diseases, and check appointments.
"By applying for and receiving URAC Health Call Center Accreditation, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center has demonstrated a commitment to quality health care," said Garry Carneal, URAC president and CEO. "Quality health care is crucial to our nation's welfare and it is important to have organizations that are willing to measure themselves against national standards."
URAC's Health Call Center Accreditation standards address approaches to ensuring appropriate patient protections have been established, such as policies for confidentiality of patient information, informed consent, dispute resolution, and other issues. The standards cover staff structure and qualifications, quality improvement, information management, oversight of delegated functions, ethics, complaints, and the case management process.
URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is a leader in promoting health care quality through accreditation and certification programs. URAC's standards keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a mark of distinction for health care organizations to demonstrate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in setting meaningful standards for the health care industry. For more information, visit www.urac.org.
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Point of Contact: VHAHOU Public Affairs02/26/04 13:16