Joint Commission outlines rules for Comprehensive Cardiac Centers

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The Joint Commission unveiled proposed requirements for an optional advanced certification program for Comprehensive Cardiac Centers in accredited hospitals. The commission will accept comments through July 16.

The optional certification program is designed to remove silos and facilitate seamless care for patients who are treated through a Comprehensive Cardiac Center. “This certification will recognize excellence in providing care not just in a single disease-specific area, but across the entire service line,” according to the Joint Commission. “The standards will focus on establishing the structures, processes, and culture that can lead to sustained levels of effective clinical performance and patient outcomes in cardiac services.”

The Joint Commission partnered with the American Heart Association to develop guidelines and quality standards. The Comprehensive Cardiac Centers will need to be part of a Joint Commission-accredited hospital and meet specific criteria on staffing, resources, the scope of care, treatments and services. Minimum requirements include the ability to manage:

  • Ischemic heart disease, including medical and interventional/surgical management, management of acute coronary syndromes (STEMI and non-STEMI), PCI and CABG
  • Cardiac valve disease, including valve replacement/repair procedures
  • Arrhythmias, including electrophysiology services and an outpatient device clinic
  • Advanced heart failure, including outpatient services
  • Cardiac arrest, including resuscitation and therapeutic hypothermia/temperature management for cardiac arrest
  • Cardiac rehabilitation of patients, as indicated, either on site or by referral
  • Cardiovascular risk factor identification and cardiac disease prevention

The Comprehensive Cardiac Centers are expected to collaborate with other providers such as the emergency departments and primary care physicians and work across settings. They also will be active in preventive initiatives to raise community awareness, increase understanding and educate the public about early signs of heart disease and treatments.

The proposed requirements and an online form are available here