Atrial Fibrillation Accreditation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia in adults and is reaching epidemic proportions. A 2017 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology stated that there are nearly 7 million people currently in the US that have AF and it is projected that, by 2050, nearly 16 million will have AF. The situation is even more alarming when you consider that AF is responsible for nearly 25% of all reported strokes. The current annual cost of AF care in the U.S. is over $6 billion and nearly $26 billion when co-morbidities and indirect costs are considered. With this growing clinical and economic burden, hospitals are looking for ways to improve their delivery of care to this AF patient population.

Continuum of Care

AF v3 is an Operational Model that Merges Evidence-Based Science and Process Improvement Across the Continuum of Care

AF v3 is the result of diligent work by nationally recognized physicians and clinicians with expertise in emergency medicine, observation medicine, interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, internal medicine, and nursing care. AF v3 incorporates AHA/ACC/HRS* Atrial Fibrillation Guidelines and other evidence-based science, quality initiatives, and clinical best practices. AF v3 accreditation has incorporated the principles of Value-based Purchasing (VBP) to help facilities optimize patient outcomes and financial performance.

*American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology/Heart Rhythm Society

Features & Benefits of Atrial Fibrillation Accreditation

  • AF v3 Accreditation requires a site visit to your facility where you share with the ACC reviewer what your facility has done to improve the delivery of care to your AF patient population and where we share best practices and ideas from our experiences.
  • AF v3 Accreditation requires attendance at a mandatory workshop to get you headed on the right track and monthly Ask-the-Experts conference calls to help you along the way.
  • AF v3 Accreditation includes a designation for those hospitals that offer full electrophysiology services to their patients – AF v3 Accreditation with EPS.
  • AF v3 Accreditation tools will be re-evaluated on a quarterly basis to ensure that they keep pace with the advancing science as reflected in published research and guidelines.

AF v3 Delivers Actionable Data to Support Clinical Decisions

  • The Accreditation Conformance Database (ACD) manages patient data and calculates performance and outcome measures based on recommendations from the ACC/AHA Clinical Performance and Quality Measure sets and clinical best practices
  • Quality measures link patient outcomes with process improvement initiatives
  • Enables hospitals to measure and monitor their performance in the treatment of AF patients over time and across all transitions of care

AF v3 has Two Accreditation Designations:

  • Atrial Fibrillation v3 Accreditation with EPS (for facilities that provide full electrophysiology and surgical services)
  • Atrial Fibrillation v3 Accreditation (for facilities that refer their patients to other facilities for electrophysiology and surgical services).

AF v3 Essential Components Provide a Roadmap for Process Improvement Efforts

Governance – Develop oversight and expectations for AF clinical operations; monitor compliance with accreditation goals; develop educational AF programs to meet the needs of physicians, providers, and staff.
Community Outreach – Raise awareness and educate the public and businesses; develop new and innovative approaches to integrate your hospital with the community.
Pre-Hospital Care – Educate community primary and specialty care providers and staff; integrate your hospital with EMS and provide education to better care for AF patients.
Early Stabilization – Develop protocols for triage and initial treatment; develop stroke risk assessment strategies; implement evidence-based guideline-driven care for the early management of AF patients; establish criteria for disposition and discharge.
Inpatient Care – Develop protocols for inpatient management and guide patient care through rate-control, rhythm-control, and prevention of thromboembolism.
Transitions of Care – Develop discharge processes that ensure effective transition of care; educate and build patient compliance; provide follow-up care.
Clinical Quality – Develop processes to capture performance and outcome data and to visualize numerous calculated measures that compare actual performance with your thresholds and goals.
Designation – There are two designations for atrial fibrillation accreditation. The designation earned will be based upon a facility's treatment strategy and capabilities.

Getting Started

Voice of the Customer

open quoteOur facility decided to seek accreditation for AF because we had begun to see a huge increase in volume in instances of AF in our patient population.

Christine McIntyre
RN, BSN, MHA, Director of the Central Baptist Heart and Vascular Institute
Lexington, KY

We actually had the benefit of having an AF center and an AF coordinator along with some of our other disease management programs with heart failure and we were seeing instances of AF with heart failure patients as well. We saw it as an opportunity to align some of our processes to work toward evidence-based guidelines in all of our order sets and with our processes with our physicians. And it really helped us gain credibility with our physicians and our providers as well about what we are doing to try to increase awareness of patients with AF — the treatments, the processes around that — and really reduce the burden on the patient in the hospital.close quote

Got FIB? Fast, Irregular Beats?

If you experience FAST, IRREGULAR heartBEATS (FIB) it can be a warning sign that you need to seek immediate medical attention. Early detection and treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) is critical for the prevention of a stroke. One of the types of atrial fibrillation (AF), known as nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), is the most common arrhythmia in adults. It is important that you, your family members, friends, and caregivers know these warning signs and seek early treatment. NVAF occurs when the electrical activity in your heart is disorganized and disrupts its normal, coordinated response. The heart has a number of special cells that send electrical signals to control your heart rate. When the electrical signals go haywire and disrupt the beat it causes the top two chambers of the heart (atria) to quiver (fibrillate) in a very fast and irregular manner. The atria then disturb the heart's main pumping chambers (ventricles) and cause your pulse to become irregular. This can cause blood to pool in the chambers of your heart which could lead to a blood clot. These blood clots have the potential to travel from your heart to the brain and cause a stroke. The term "nonvalvular" means that the condition is not due to a faulty or abnormal heart valve. Remember to ask yourself, "GOT FIB?"
Read an article that helps explain what non-valvular atrial fibrillation is and learn what strategies you can use to manage your condition.
If you are a provider, click here to read an article on how to help your patients better understand NVAF and set them up for success.