News | May 17, 2010

Organization Promotes Quality Care in Cath Labs

May 17, 2010 – The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) recently announced the creation of the Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE) organization. The new accrediting body, announced at SCAI’s 33rd Annual Scientific Sessions in early May, is designed to promote and uphold high-quality patient care and improve patient safety in facilities where invasive cardiac and endovascular procedures are performed.

ACE will advance excellence by providing an accrediting mechanism, based on scientific evidence in peer-reviewed medical literature and professionally determined quality metrics, to ensure processes and outcomes of cardiovascular procedures are consistent with predetermined benchmarks. ACE also makes available tools and quality improvement guidance to organizations seeking, or having achieved provisional accreditation, in order to support ongoing quality improvement and optimal patient care.

“Our primary goal for ACE is to increase the consistency of superior patient care in cardiovascular procedures throughout the U.S.,” said Bonnie Weiner, M.D., MSEC, MBA, FSCAI, president of ACE and director of interventional cardiology research at Saint Vincent Hospital at Worcester Medical Center, Worcester, Mass. “When they are treated at a cardiovascular center that is ACE-accredited, patients should feel confident the facility has taken the appropriate, evidence-based steps to help ensure the best care for each individual patient.”

Carotid Stenting
ACE will first focus on providing accreditation to hospitals that perform carotid artery stenting procedures, with subsequent expansion to other cardiovascular procedures, including percutaneous coronary interventions, other endovascular procedures and structural heart disease interventions. Currently, carotid artery stenting is reserved primarily for patients who are at high-risk for carotid endarderectomy.

“Advancing quality standards is of utmost importance in our field and in all of medicine,” said Steven R. Bailey, M.D., FSCAI, chief, division of cardiology, Janey Briscoe distinguished chair of cardiovascular research and professor of medicine and radiology at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio and SCAI president. “ACE will help us to work proactively to promote and maintain excellence for the patients we serve.”

ACE will begin accrediting carotid artery stenting facilities this summer. Facilities must apply for accreditation, submit data and be visited by review teams to complete the process. Part of the accreditation process will include validation of self-reported data and appropriate use of existing guidelines and knowledge of changing best practices. Accreditation will last for a two-year period, after which a review of the facility will be required for continued ACE recognition.

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