Joint Commission awards advanced certification in ventricular assist device destination therapy to UAB

UAB Hospital is the only Disease-Specific Certified program in Alabama and has had no observations or findings by The Joint Commission since joining the certification process.

PamboukianSalpy Pamboukian (right) associate professor of medicine and section chief of Advanced Heart Failure, Transplantation and Pulmonary Vascular Disease, said the recent Joint Commission advanced certification is a major step toward maintaining excellence and continually improving the care UAB provides. UAB Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for its ventricular assist device destination therapy program for a fourth time by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care.

The certification award recognizes UAB Hospital’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards. UAB is the only Disease-Specific Certified program in Alabama and the only DSC VAD program in the state. There are approximately 140 DSC VAD certified programs in the United States.

UAB first received The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ in 2008 and has had no observations or findings during the seven-year period, meaning JCAHO found no deficits in the program or opportunity for improvement.

UAB Hospital underwent a rigorous day and one half on-site review April 6-7 of this year. An expert Joint Commission reviewer evaluated UAB for compliance with the requirements for The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification program as well as ventricular assist device destination therapy-specific standards, clinical practice guidelines and performance measures.

“In achieving Joint Commission advanced certification, UAB has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its ventricular assist device patients,” said Michele Sacco, interim executive director, Certification Programs. “Certification is a voluntary process, and I commend UAB for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

“With Joint Commission advanced certification, we are making a significant investment in quality on a day-to-day basis from the top down,” said Salpy Pamboukian, M.D., associate professor of medicine and section chief of Advanced Heart Failure, Transplantation and Pulmonary Vascular Disease in the School of Medicine. “The Joint Commission provides us a framework to take our organization to the next level and helps create a culture of excellence. Achieving Joint Commission advanced certification in ventricular assist device destination therapy, for our organization, is a major step toward maintaining excellence and continually improving the care we provide.”

The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification in Ventricular Assist Device Destination Therapy, developed in response to Medicare requirements, provides standards for hospitals related to:

  • Staffing and facility infrastructure to support ventricular assist device placements;
  • Participation in a national, audited registry for patients who have received mechanically assisted circulatory support devices; and
  • Volume requirements for board-certified cardiac surgeons who place ventricular assist devices.

The certification process became mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2009.

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