Joint Commission, American Heart Association launch heart attack certification program

The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association launched the Comprehensive Heart Attack Center Certification program on Jan. 19 to advance care for the most complex and severely ill cardiac patients. 

The certification program is based on clinical practice guidelines and recommendations published in the AHA's Circulation journal. The guidelines call on hospitals to implement a system of care for all time-sensitive cardiovascular disorders to minimize delays.

The certification will be available to all hospitals starting July 1. To qualify, hospitals must meet characteristics for a level I ST-elevated myocardial infarction center and provide 24/7 care for primary percutaneous coronary intervention and cardiac surgical services. 

"The new program joins our existing heart attack certifications with the American Heart Association, including Primary Heart Attack Center (level II STEMI Center) and Acute Heart Attack Ready (level III STEMI Center) to help hospitals elevate their cardiac programs — reducing variation and risk for a more consistent approach to every patient," said Patrick Phelan, executive director of hospital certification business development at The Joint Commission. 

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