HOUSTON (June 10, 2008)

Three Memorial Hermann hospitals - Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center - have earned Quality Respiratory Care Recognition (QRCR) under a national program aimed at helping patients and families make informed decisions about the quality of the respiratory care services available in hospitals. About 700 hospitals, or approximately 15 percent of hospitals in the United States, have applied for and received this award.

The QRCR program was started by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) in 2003 to help consumers identify those facilities using qualified respiratory therapists to provide respiratory care. Hospitals earning the QRCR designation ensure patient safety by agreeing to adhere to a strict set of criteria governing their respiratory care services.

To qualify for the recognition, the three Memorial Hermann hospitals provided documentation showing they met the following conditions:

The AARC's QRCR program grew out of growing concerns among health care leaders and the general public regarding the safety and quality of healthcare services provided to patients. Hospitals that meet the QRCR requirements provide a level of respiratory care consistent with national standards and guidelines and should be commended for their commitment to quality care.

Respiratory therapists are specially trained health care professionals who work under physician's orders to provide a wide range of breathing treatments and other services to people with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, AIDS and other lung-related conditions. They also care for premature infants and are key members of lifesaving response teams charged with handling medical emergencies.