American Heart Association issued the following announcement on July 19.
Ensuring patients with heart failure have access to the latest evidence-based care, and improved outcomes and quality of life, is at the core of a hospital certification program offered by the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and The Joint Commission, the nation’s largest independent health care evaluation organization. Advanced Certification for Heart Failure is the first of multiple, jointly offered cardiac certifications that will be made available to hospitals seeking to implement exceptional efforts to foster better quality of care and outcomes for patients with cardiovascular disease.
The Advanced Heart Failure Certification program from the American Heart Association and The Joint Commission is based on the most recent heart failure clinical practice guidelines. Hospitals applying for this certification must actively participate in the Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure program, an in-hospital program for improving care by promoting consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines.
Using standards and quality improvement tools, the advanced certification program promotes successful efforts in heart failure management which include standard methods of delivering or coordinating care; implementation of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines; a secure and timely system for sharing information across settings and providers which safeguards patient rights and privacy; a comprehensive performance improvement program which uses outcomes data to continually enhance existing treatment plans and clinical practices; and clinical practices which support patient self-management.
“The Joint Commission recognizes organizations that have achieved a level of excellence in their care for heart failure patients,” says David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, Executive Vice President for Health Care Quality Evaluation, The Joint Commission. “Moreover, earning Advanced Heart Failure certification means the organization is committed to continuing to work to improve and achieve the best possible outcomes for their patients. This certification also shows the community that the organization is committed to coordinating care beyond the walls of the hospital, including transition to outpatient heart failure care providers.”
The American Heart Association and The Joint Commission certification program requires organizations to meet the following criteria:
- Actively participate in , the American Heart Association hospital-based quality improvement program designed to close the treatment gap in cardiovascular disease
- Collect data on certification measures requirements for inpatient and outpatient care
- Provide ambulatory care services either through a hospital-collaborative relationship with one or more cardiology practices, and
- Meet standards requirements under the certification program.
“By actively participating in the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines – Heart Failure program, hospitals demonstrate their commitment to positively impacting the cardiovascular health of their heart failure patients,” says Clyde Yancy, MD, MSc, voluntary chairman of the American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines Committee and Chief, Division of Cardiology Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine. “This certification provides an important way for hospitals to distinguish themselves, and more importantly, it helps raise the bar for heart failure care nationwide.”
According to Gregg Fonarow, MD, FACC, FAHA, FHFSA, longtime American Heart Association volunteer and Quality Improvement - Heart Failure and Stroke leader and Director of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, “Over the years, our work has clearly demonstrated that an evidence-based guideline driven approach saves lives and reduces the need for hospitalization in heart failure. Deploying a set of standards now prompts even greater gains in quality of care for this important patient population.”
For more information about the advanced heart failure certification program, please e-mail The Joint Commission at email@example.com or the American Heart Association at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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