AHA/ASA announce need for comprehensive hospital certification program for heart and stroke care

April 19, 2017

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.

SOURCE American Heart Association