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January 29, 2013

Heart failure program earns national certification

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The Joint Commission – the national group that accredits healthcare organizations – officially certified the University of Virginia Medical Center’s heart failure program earlier this month for meeting national standards for quality care.

Joint Commission certification demonstrates “a program’s effectiveness in using clinical guidelines and performance measurement to improve clinical care,” according to the group’s website. “The discipline and self-assessment inherent in meeting these requirements creates a road map to improving patient care quality.”

The certification follows a rigorous review that included an in-person visit by Joint Commission surveyors in November 2012.

“This award from the Joint Commission was earned through the collective efforts of our team to provide high-quality care to patients with heart failure,” says James Bergin, MD , medical director of heart failure and cardiac transplant at UVA Health System.

A team of cardiologists, heart surgeons, nurse practitioners, nurses, clinical dietitians, a pharmacist and a social worker that specialize in heart failure leads care at UVA. Patients can benefit from the full range of treatment options, ranging from lifestyle changes and medications to ventricular assist devices that help the heart pump blood through the body and heart transplants.

The Joint Commission has also awarded certifications to UVA for implanting ventricular assist devices, its care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients and as a primary stroke center.

For the media: Heart failure specialist Nita Reigle, NP, is available for interviews from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29.

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