Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hospital certification program for cardiovascular, stroke care needed

November 12, 2010
American Heart Association
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is exploring the development of a comprehensive hospital certification program for heart and stroke care. The program would help ensure hospitals are consistently providing excellent evidence-based quality care, patient safety and favorable patient outcomes. While several accreditation, recognition and certification programs exist, the program would fill an unmet need for a trusted, objective patient-centered standard to comprehensively address cardiovascular disease and stroke care.

The American Heart Association should develop a comprehensive hospital certification program with policies and evidence-based criteria for cardiovascular disease and stroke care in the United States, according to an American Heart Association Presidential Advisory published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Related Articles

"Our goal is to continue to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent by 2020," said Ralph Sacco, M.D., M.S., president of the American Heart Association and co-author of the advisory. "To do so we have to make sure hospitals are providing the highest quality care to patients to improve their outcomes."

A comprehensive certification program would help ensure that hospitals consistently provide proven therapies and achieve better outcomes -- and recognize those that do, said Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., first author of the advisory and professor of cardiovascular medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles.

"We want this to be objective, unbiased and really meaningful," Fonarow said. "Many studies show that the quality of care for cardiovascular disease and stroke can vary substantially depending on the hospital."

For example, hospitals differ widely in when they administer the preferred reperfusion therapy to unblock an artery after a severe type of heart attack known as ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI); when and whether they give appropriate medicine after stroke; whether they give patients a statin to prevent recurrent illness; and whether they refer patients for cardiac or stroke rehabilitation.

"Being able to distinguish centers that consistently provide excellent cardiovascular disease and stroke care could mean the difference between patients receiving or not receiving therapies that are highly effective and will help improve the likelihood of surviving an acute cardiovascular illness -- reducing the likelihood of being disabled or having another event," Fonarow said.

Some programs that assess hospitals are linked to better quality of care and improved patient outcomes, according to research. "But data are mixed and often differences aren't great," Fonarow said. "It can be difficult sorting through these programs, and there isn't really, from a trusted source, a single certification program that consumers, insurers, clinicians and the public can use to understand which hospitals are providing exceptional overall cardiovascular and stroke care."

A comprehensive certification program would build on the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines performance improvement and recognition programs. Since the association launched the programs a decade ago, more than 1,500 hospitals have implemented them in areas including stroke, heart failure and resuscitation.

The association has also partnered with The Joint Commission, a national hospital accrediting body, to provide advanced hospital certification in heart failure care and certification of hospitals as Primary Stroke Centers.

"We know that for stroke care, stroke certification has really made a difference," said Sacco, chairman of the department of neurology at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine.

Hospital stakeholders want a credible program with meaningful ratings that recognize high standards and operational excellence, according to a small AHA/ASA survey.

"The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is the ideal group to help usher in new programs for hospital certification because of our development of evidence-based guidelines and the expertise of our professional volunteers in diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease and stroke," Sacco said.

Annually, there are about 6.2 million cardiovascular and 730,000 stroke hospitalizations and 7.2 million cardiac and vascular procedures performed. Cardiovascular disease accounts for 831,000 deaths -- more than 34 percent of all deaths -- each year.

Other authors are Tammy Gregory; Meagen Driskill, R.N., M.B.A.; Mark D. Stewart, M.P.H.; Craig Beam, C.R.E.; Javed Butler, M.D., M.P.H.; Alice K. Jacobs, M.D.; Neil M. Meltzer, M.P.H.; Eric D. Peterson, M.D., M.P.H.; Lee H. Schwamm, M.D.; John A. Spertus, M.D.; Clyde W. Yancy Jr., M.D.; and Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D. Author disclosures and sources of funding are on the manuscript.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Gregg C. Fonarow, Tammy Gregory, Meagen Driskill, Mark D. Stewart, Craig Beam, Javed Butler, Alice K. Jacobs, Neil M. Meltzer, Eric D. Peterson, Lee H. Schwamm, John A. Spertus, Clyde W. Yancy, Gordon F. Tomaselli, and Ralph L. Sacco. Hospital Certification for Optimizing Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Quality of Care and Outcomes. Circulation, 2010; DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0b013e3182011a81

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Hospital certification program for cardiovascular, stroke care needed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101112141117.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2010, November 12). Hospital certification program for cardiovascular, stroke care needed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101112141117.htm
American Heart Association. "Hospital certification program for cardiovascular, stroke care needed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101112141117.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This

More From ScienceDaily

More Health & Medicine News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins