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American College of Cardiology awards Heart Failure Accreditation to Augusta Health

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Augusta Health has been recognized by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) for its expertise and dedication in treating patients with heart failure.

The hospital was awarded Heart Failure Accreditation with Outpatient Services in May 2024 after a rigorous onsite review of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with heart failure. The review includes pre-hospital care, early stabilization, acute care, transitional care and clinical quality measures. In collaboration with Augusta Health’s Heart Failure Clinic, Augusta Health has extended its commitment to caring for the heart failure population beyond the acute hospital setting.

Heart failure is a long-term condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen. Hospitals that use a systematic approach to managing heart failure have been able to reduce treatment times, identify high-risk patients, and predict outcomes while also lowering the length of hospital stays and readmission rates.

“Augusta Health has demonstrated its commitment to providing the Shenandoah Valley with excellent heart care,” Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board, said. “ACC Accreditation Services is proud to award Augusta Health with Heart Failure Accreditation with Outpatient Services.”

Facilities that receive Heart Failure Accreditation with Outpatient Services not only show they can handle severe heart failure cases, but they also provide and work with outpatient clinics to offer follow-up care and services to heart failure patients after they leave the hospital. The approach makes the shift from hospital to outpatient care smoother and ensures a team effort to provide continuous care.

Hospitals receiving Heart Failure Accreditation with Outpatient Services from the ACC must undergo a comprehensive clinical process, which involves a thorough review of practices, identifying any variations in care, developing an action plan, going through an in-depth onsite review, and keeping track of their progress over time. To better care for patients, they must streamline their processes, follow
guidelines and standards and use the best methods for caring for heart failure patients. Accredited facilities must meet or exceed strict criteria and have a team of dedicated doctors, nurses, clinicians and administrative staff that wholeheartedly support efforts to improve patient education, enhance patient outcomes, and achieve more effective and efficient disease control.

Augusta Health is one of 18 hospitals across the nation to attain a higher level of Heart Failure recognition for its exceptional care of
patients with heart failure. The acknowledgment signifies the hospital’s commitment to providing high-quality care for individuals suffering from heart failure.

“We are very proud of this accreditation; it is a rigorous process and shows that every member of our dedicated team is collaborating closely with our patients to ensure they attain the highest possible quality of life,” Tami Collins, Augusta Health Heart Failure Clinic, said. “Our clinic is committed to enhancing the overall quality of life for individuals living with heart failure through comprehensive
management, thorough education and ongoing support for both patients and their caregivers.”

The Heart Failure Clinic at Augusta Health has a team of specialists to help patients manage their heart conditions. Treatment plans may involve medication, dietary changes, and lifestyle adjustments. All care received at the clinic will be shared with the patient’s cardiologist and primary care physician. Patients who notice anything unusual can call the Heart Failure Clinic for immediate care or intervention. The close, supportive relationship fosters trust between patients and providers at the clinic, benefiting the patients and contributing to the clinic’s success in providing effective treatment.

The ACC provides U.S. and international hospitals, such as Augusta Health, with a wide range of cardiac accreditation services to enhance patient outcomes and boost hospital financial performance. The services cover all aspects of cardiac care, including heart failure.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.