The nation’s first hospital to achieve accreditation under a new AHA and American College of Cardiology program was announced in September.
Commonwealth Health Regional Hospital of Scranton in Pennsylvania was designated a Cardiovascular Center of Excellence for integrating evidence-based science, quality initiatives, clinical best practices, patient-centered care and the latest ACC/AHA guidelines into its cardiovascular care processes.
Hospitals must achieve coordination of care in at least three of four accreditation areas developed by the ACC — chest pain, atrial fibrillation, heart failure and cardiac catheterization services — to receive accreditation.
“The AHA and ACC have been dedicated to improving cardiovascular health and cardiovascular care for decades — both as individual organizations and collaboratively,” said Robert L. McNamara, MD, chair of the AHA Hospital Accreditation Cardiovascular Subcommittee and associate professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. “The new Cardiovascular Center of Excellence designation will help further those efforts.”
Accredited hospitals must be equipped to meet the care needs — diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, support and education — of the most complex cardiac patients in the hospital and beyond. The key, McNamara said, is for hospitals to coordinate high-quality care from an institutional standpoint.
Commonwealth Health Regional Hospital of Scranton showed that it met the accreditation criteria after a thorough evaluation of the facility’s multidisciplinary teams and processes.
“The staff at Scranton displayed a commitment to work with all levels of the community to emphasize cardiovascular disease prevention, early recognition and treatment, and rehabilitation for an improved quality of life,” McNamara said. “Having accredited hospitals equipped to collaborate with their communities to address the needs of patients with life-threatening heart conditions is key to improving quality of life and survival for all patients.”
For more information, visit heart.org/ cardiacaccreditation.
10 Years of Mission: Lifeline
Launched by the American Heart Association in 2007, the Mission: Lifeline program continues to improve care for patients experiencing heart attack, cardiac arrest and stroke. These high-risk, time-sensitive emergencies require high-quality care at every link in the chain of survival. Mission: Lifeline works to ensure there are no weak links.
The program has grown from focusing on a single type of deadly heart attack and rural areas to a broader focus nationwide, including major metro areas. About 800 hospitals were honored this year for meeting various standards of excellence — up from 77 in 2010, the first year of the award program. Some of the program’s accomplishments include:
Faster response times for certain types of lifesaving care
More than 85 percent of the country is now covered under the system of care for ST segment elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI, an often-deadly heart attack the program initially targeted.
Expansion into highly populated cities, including New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Seattle.