LEXINGTON Earning a healthcare accreditation starts long before the application period. It means educating and re-educating staff; identifying gaps in services to the patient population and implementing programs to fill those gaps; and changing processes to speed up delivery of lifesaving measures. Along the way, communication among physicians, staff, and leadership is essential. All of that happens, and then the institution must collect data on those efforts to prove they are doing all of it and doing it well.
So why does a hospital go to all that trouble? Despite the complicated process, the answer is fairly simple: to ensure that it is offering the best possible care to patients based on proven guidelines.
Baptist Health Lexington (BHL) observed American Heart Month with a big announcement. In February, the hospital was the second facility in the United States, and the first in Kentucky, to receive American Heart Association (AHA) Cardiovascular Center of Excellence accreditation. In order to receive this accreditation, hospitals must prove commitment to building a system of care approach in offering a broad scope of cardiovascular care services, including disease-specific areas such as chest pain, cardiac catheterization, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure. Services must range from prevention strategies to full continuity of care through rehabilitation and recovery after a cardiac event.
The AHA developed the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence accreditation in collaboration with the ACC, two organizations BHL regards highly and has worked with for decades.
“We have the same goals as the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology — to improve the outcomes of patients with cardiovascular disease, so this partnership seemed like a natural fit,” said interventional electrophysiologist Gery Tomassoni, MD, regarding the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence accreditation. “This particular accreditation is the gold standard that defines broad excellence in cardiac care.”
Interventional cardiologist Tyler Richmond, MD, who practices with Baptist Health Medical Group Lexington Cardiology, spearheaded the hospital’s Cardiovascular Center of Excellence accreditation process.
Accreditations, such as the ones BHL has received, assure Kentuckians that traveling to far away facilities is not necessary in order to receive high-quality heart care.
“Following a collaborative approach that incorporates best practices founded on established evidence-based treatment guidelines means that our level of care is the best you can get anywhere,” said Tomassoni. “What’s best for the patient is always at the center of everything we do.”