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The American College of Cardiology (ACC) provides accreditation services to healthcare facilities.

Accreditation brings together diverse medical specialties, such as EMS, emergency medicine, and cardiology; clinicians and administrators; doctors and nurses; lawyers; architects and quality improvement professionals. It improves the clinical processes for the early assessment, diagnosis and treatment of Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), Heart Failure (HF), and Atrial Fibrillation (AF) within facilities.

Accredited hospitals have achieved a higher level of expertise when dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. Accreditation:

  • Emphasizes standardized diagnostic and treatment programs
  • Provides more efficient and effective evaluation
  • Assists rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms
  • Provides education for healthcare professionals and the community
  • Reduces the risk factors for heart attack

Why Accreditation?

Facilities that are intent on connecting quality and cost with outcomes and patient satisfaction look to ACC to help them create cardiovascular communities of excellence. ACC provides the tools, education and support necessary to transform cardiovascular care. Accreditation drives process improvement:

  • Financial benefits are twofold: Increased volume leads to increased revenue; and Medicare payments to accredited hospitals are maintained due to appropriate patient status placement
  • Accreditation is associated with better performance of CMS core measures for the ACS and HF patient
  • Improves quality outcomes
  • Establishes facilities' commitment to higher standards and gives them a competitive edge
  • Provides processes for timely and accurate diagnosis and treatment
  • Defines risk stratification to ensure appropriate placement of patients based on clinical presentation and initial response to treatment
  • Reduces the liability of missed MIs by using a consistent risk stratification approach for the ACS patient based on research and best practices
  • Improves relationships and integrates processes with EMS and Dispatch Services thus reducing Door-to-Balloon times
  • Breaks down silos, streamlines cross-departmental processes and creates a team approach to treatment
  • Helps facilities identify gaps, measure results, and revise current processes
  • Collects metrics to ensure that processes meet clinical and financial goals
  • Decreases length of stay and improves the bottom line
  • Avoids costs of frequent HF readmissions
  • Helps facilities avoid Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) issues by developing a plan to link quality patient care with RAC strategies, including improved documentation, better risk stratification, and improved processes
  • Demonstrates to the community the facility's commitment and dedication to provide exceptional cardiac care
Accreditation improves the clinical processes for the early assessment, diagnosis and treatment within facilities. That process improvement helps quality, cost and patient satisfaction.

Process Improvement and People

The intent of the accreditation process is to improve the care of Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and Heart Failure (HF) patients. ACC believes this is best accomplished by using the principles found in the science of process improvement.

ACC reviewers are highly experienced clinicians whose sole focus is to help facilities identify processes that improve the continuum of care. Their mission is to approach each site visit in a collegial manner to break down barriers and engage in meaningful conversations with professionals at the facility. As experts in the care of the cardiac patient, ACC's team of reviewers have accredited healthcare facilities worldwide. They have developed and maintained a collective knowledge of process improvement initiatives, best practices, and help educate facility personnel while onsite.

Process improvement is an on-going effort to identify and improve processes. It requires an understanding of "change" and the ability to accept that change is inevitable, mistakes will occur, and whatever is done can always be done more efficiently. There will continually be new research that translates into improved methods of caring for patients, and the need to stay abreast of these changes in order to improve patient outcomes is a necessity.


Operationalizing the Science: It's What We Do Best

Two elements must harmoniously exist in order to deliver the most efficient and effective healthcare.

One cannot thrive without the other.

Through the scholarly work of scientists, research defines the prescriptive mechanisms by which all healthcare providers practice. This alone does not equate to quality care. Since scientific standards of care cannot be used as business models and business models cannot define scientific standards, systems are challenged with addressing the best way to deliver research to the bedside.

Converting scientific knowledge into organizational business models is done through the process of operationalization. When working synergistically, science feeds operations and operations improve the science leading to the best overall patient outcomes at the lowest cost. We have a rich successful history of assisting healthcare organizations with operationalizing cardiovascular science through the process of accreditation.


Providing Accreditation Programs for Hospitals and Hospital Systems

ACC works with single, stand-alone hospitals and hospital systems to improve clinical processes for the early assessment, diagnosis and treatment of Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), Heart Failure (HF), and Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and to provide educational information about the management of hospital Observation Services units. The implementation of guidelines and standards is within the reach of organizations of all sizes and we work collaboratively with every organization to ensure that your goals are achievable and your needs are meetable.