Joint Commission, AHA launch new heart failure certification program

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The Joint Commission, in collaboration with the American Heart Association (AHA), has launched a new Disease-Specific Care Advanced Certification Program in Heart Failure to recognize "hospitals that are making exceptional efforts to foster better quality of care and outcomes for heart failure patients."

Through the use of the standards and quality improvement tools, the organizations said that the advanced certification program promotes "successful efforts in heart failure management," which include a standard method of delivering or coordinating care; implementation of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines; a secure system for sharing information across settings and providers, which safeguards patient rights and privacy; a performance improvement program which uses outcomes data to enhance existing treatment plans and clinical practices; and clinical practices which support patient self-management.

"The Joint Commission's certificate recognizes organizations that are focused on the best outcomes for heart failure patients," said Jean Range, MS, RN, executive director of Disease-Specific Care Certification of the Joint Commission. "This certification demonstrates to the community that the care provided is effectively managed to meet the unique and specialized needs of heart failure patients."

"By achieving recognition from the American Heart Association through our Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure program, hospitals have demonstrated their commitment to consistently delivering reliable, effective and high quality care to their heart failure patients," said Gregg C. Fonarow, MD, chairman of the AHA's Get With The Guidelines steering committee.