The Heart Failure Program at University of Cincinnati Medical Center has earned advanced certification from the Joint Commission.
"This is quite exciting, as the Ventricular Assist Device treatment offered through the heart failure program also gained accreditation in 2012,” says Stephanie Dunlap, DO, director of the program, associate professor in the College of Medicine and UC Health cardiologist. "This further serves as proof that our patients are in a successful and highly qualified program and are receiving the most tailored, up-to-date treatment for their heart failure needs.”
The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.
In order for a heart failure program to receive advanced certification, it must comply with the Joint Commission’s standards for disease-specific care and must include either a hospital-based and hospital-owned outpatient heart failure clinic or have a collaborative relationship with one or more attending cardiology practices.
Disease-specific care standards include program management; clinical information management; delivering/facilitating clinical care; supporting self-management; and measuring and improving performance. Advanced certification also requires that a program collect data on the four Joint Commission core measures for heart failure and use this information for ongoing performance improvement efforts.
A multidisciplinary team lead by Lindsey Neese, RN, CNS, heart failure coordinator, educates cardiac nurses and patients about the need for diet, medications and follow-up care for their success in living with heart failure. Additionally, she collects the data for the core measures as specified by the Joint Commission and provides for the transition of care from hospital to home.
"This achievement reflects on expertise and professionalism of the UC Health multidisciplinary heart team and touts our reputation of being leaders in heart care locally and nationally,” Dunlap says, adding that the UC Health system provides multidisciplinary care and access to a number of innovative therapies through clinical trials—something that is unparalleled by other systems in the region.
"As our program continues to grow, this accreditation will serve as evidence that we are building on excellence.”