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Knight Cardiovascular Institute first in Pacific Northwest to receive Heart Failure Certification

Heart failure program celebrates American Heart Month with highest honor for patient care standards

The OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute today announced that, just in time for American Heart Month, it’s heart failure program has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification in Heart Failure. The Gold Seal of Approval® and the Heart-Check mark represent symbols of quality from their respective organizations. OHSU is the first hospital in the Pacific Northwest to receive advanced certification in heart failure.

OHSU recently underwent a rigorous on-site review. Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with disease-specific care standards and heart failure-specific requirements. 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.

“OHSU is pleased to receive advanced certification from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association,” said James Mudd, M.D., director of the heart failure and heart transplant program at the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute and assistant professor of medicine (cardiovascular medicine) in the OHSU School of Medicine. “This award not only reflects the exceptional heart failure care we provide to our patients but our commitment to improve our systems of care with innovation and research to combat this disease.”

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. OHSU currently has a Silver-Plus level of performance. To achieve this performance recognition, OHSU was also required to demonstrate that the program is using the latest scientific research developed to meet individualized patient needs.

More than 5 million Americans suffer from heart failure, a chronic, progressive disease in which the heart cannot effectively pump blood to the rest of the body, according to the American Heart Association. Although the heart keeps working, it’s 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, active life through a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.

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