The Advanced Heart Failure Treatment program at UC Medical Center was initially certified by the Joint Commission in 2012. UC Medical Center has undergone a rigorous on-site review with Joint Commission experts who evaluated compliance with disease-specific care standards as well as with heart failure-specific requirements.
“The UC Health Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Center is continuing a proud tradition of improving heart care for residents in the Tristate,” says Stephanie Dunlap, DO, medical director of the UC Health Heart Failure Program and associate professor in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. “It’s an honor to have our efforts recognized by the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association.
“Our team of physicians, nurses and medical staff are dedicated to the well-being of our patients, who strive for a return to healthy living after having their lives effected by heart failure,” says Dunlap. “We celebrate successes with our patients and remain ardent supporters as they overcome health challenges.”
The certification cycle for UC Medical Center started on Aug. 14, 2015, and is valid for two years though the Joint Commission reserves the right to shorten or lengthen the duration cycle. The certification recognizes heart failure programs that include either a hospital-based and hospital-owned outpatient heart failure clinic or have a collaborative relationship with one or more attending cardiology practices.
Established in 2010 and awarded for a two-year period, the Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification in Heart Failure was developed in collaboration with an external task force of experts and organizations with expertise in heart failure care, including representatives from the American Heart Association, Heart Failure Society of America and the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses.
To be eligible for Advanced Certification in Heart Failure, health care providers must have achieved at least a Bronze level of performance from the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines—Heart Failure program and established a comprehensive heart failure-focused program staffed by qualified medical professionals. By participating in the program, the hospital also must use the latest scientific research developed to meet individualized patient needs.
UC Medical Center has received a quality achievement award through the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines—Heart Failure program for its efforts to help heart failure patients three times—a Bronze Quality Achievement Award in 2011, a Silver Achievement Award in 2013 and a Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award in 2014.
“UC Medical Center has thoroughly demonstrated a high level of care for patients who are being treated for heart failure,” said Wendi Roberts, RN, executive director, Certification Programs, The Joint Commission. “We commend the hospital for becoming a leader in heart failure care, potentially providing a higher standard of service for cardiac patients in its community.”
Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association, also offered congratulations for UC Medical Center. “This certification reflects their commitment to providing the highest quality of care for patients with heart failure,” she says.
The Advanced Heart Failure Treatment program is an integral part of the UC Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute, a partnership between UC Health and the UC College of Medicine designed to connect expert physicians with cutting-edge researchers to make breakthroughs in medicine.
“The honor bestowed upon our dedicated team from the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association is testimony to a long-standing and time-honored acknowledgement—UC Medical Center is a leader in treating patients with heart failure,” says Richard Becker, MD, director of the UC Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute and professor of medicine at the UC College of Medicine. “Our expertise in caring for those with even the most advanced stages of heart failure is the foundation for treatments, ranging from the newest medications to mechanical assist devices and heart transplantation offered at UC Medical Center.”
The Joint Commission is a nonprofit organization which accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Founded by six cardiologists in 1924, the organization now includes more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters.
More than 5 million Americans suffer from heart failure, a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to the body’s other organs, according to the American Heart Association. Although the heart keeps working, it is not as effective as it should be. Each year, about 825,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than 275,000 will die of heart failure. However, many patients can lead a full life through a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.
Media Contact: Cedric Ricks, 513-558-4657