American Heart Association launches Center of Excellence hospital accreditation


From the start of this year, American Heart Association (AHA) is offering advanced accreditation for hospitals that meet the high standards needed for treating the most complex cases of heart disease. The Cardiovascular Center of Excellence designation is part of the association’s new accreditation collaboration with the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

The Cardiovascular Center of Excellence designation is an overarching accreditation aimed at meeting all the care needs of the most complex cardiac patients by integrating the most current research for treatment and prevention of cardiac diseases. Backed by the expertise of nationally recognised AHA/ACC accreditation resources, these hospitals will offer the broad scope of cardiovascular care services required to diagnose, treat, rehabilitate, support, and educate patients needing advanced heart disease care.

As a Cardiovascular Center of Excellence, a hospital will commit to, among other things:

  • Promote increased participation in care decisions by patients and family members.
  • Inform patients about clinical research studies and trial options.
  • Collaborate with communities to provide cardiac prevention and educational events.
  • Focus on a system of care that ensures optimal treatment and outcomes.
  • Improve quality, care coordination and compliance with national care guidelines.

Accredited programs gain local and national exposure through AHA/ACC marketing efforts and the “Find an Accredited Cardiovascular Center Near You” tool, ensuring to patients and providers that accredited hospitals demonstrate adherence to national performance measures.

As with other AHA/ACC quality improvement and accreditation programs, Cardiovascular Centers of Excellence will provide extensive data on patients treated within the facility to use for internal quality improvement, administration, and research. Hospitals can also submit proposals to participate in research studies developed to address important issues in cardiovascular care treatments and outcomes.

Accreditation for Cardiovascular Center of Excellence is intended to provide a framework to high-performing hospitals offering wide-ranging cardiovascular services to elevate their standards of performance and provide coordinated, high-quality patient-centred care to the communities they serve.

Accredited organisations will demonstrate the ability to provide comprehensive care to cardiovascular patients through well-organised systems, services, facilities, and highly trained and experienced physicians and cardiovascular teams with an emphasis on delivering quality care and positive patient outcomes.