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For release: May 3, 2013

Amy Kilgore 330.344.6014,
Kelly Ward-Smith 330.344.1681,

Akron General Medical Center’s heart program awarded certification
Hospital receives heart failure certification by Joint Commission

The Akron General Heart and Vascular Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for its heart failure program by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care. The certification award recognizes Akron General’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards.

The Akron General Heart and Vascular Center recently underwent a rigorous on-site review. A Joint Commission expert evaluated Akron General for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of heart failure patients and families, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management. The transition of care from inpatient admission to home was evaluated, as well as the role the Heart Failure Clinic plays in patient education and decreasing readmissions.

Akron General offers one of the largest multispecialty centers in the Akron area and all of Northeast Ohio that focuses on uncovering and treating conditions of the heart and blood vessels. The heart failure program focuses on prevention and early involvement in the treatment of heart failure.

Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, is a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough oxygenated blood to meet the needs of the body's other organs. The heart keeps pumping, but not as efficiently as a healthy heart. Usually, the heart's diminished capacity to pump reflects a progressive, underlying condition. Nearly 5 million Americans are living with heart failure, and 400,000 to 700,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification Program, launched in 2002, is designed to evaluate clinical programs across the continuum of care. Certification requirements address three core areas: compliance with consensus-based national standards; effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care; and an organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.

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