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    Sutter Heart Failure Program First in Nation to Receive New Joint Commission Certification


    SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 28, 2011 - The Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute Heart Failure Clinic became the first program in the nation to be certified under new Joint Commission standards that are focused on providing safe, successful transitions of care as heart-failure patients move from the inpatient setting to the outpatient setting.

    In collaboration with the American Heart Association, The Joint Commission launched the Advanced Certification in Heart Failure program on July 1 by using criteria outlined in the AHA’s Get With The Guidelines. These clinical practice guidelines include recommendations related to assessment, monitoring, management and performance improvement of heart failure care across health-care settings.

    After a thorough review of the Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute’s program, the Heart Failure Clinic at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento was found to meet all of the guidelines to promote successful efforts in heart failure management.

    “Our Heart Failure Clinic has produced some of the best outcomes in the nation, not only for successful heart-failure treatments, but for excellence in continued care,” said John Chin, M.D., medical director of the Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute Transplant and Advanced Heart Therapy Department. “Most heart-failure patients need to be seen for the rest of their lives, and our goal is to improve both their longevity and the quality of their lives.”

    Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute is the only heart program in Northern California outside the Bay Area to offer advanced heart-failure treatments, including heart transplants, rescue devices and heart pumps known as ventricular assist devices. Its Heart Failure Clinic is located on the SMCS campus of Sutter Memorial Hospital in East Sacramento and sees hundreds of patients a month. The goal of the Heart Failure Clinic is to prevent unnecessary emergency department visits and hospital admissions, promote consistency in the use of medications, and promote better self-management through patient education and lifestyle changes.

    “Although there is no cure for heart failure, the proper treatment program can allow patients to lead full lives,” said Jean Range, M.S., R.N., CPHQ, executive director of The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification program. “The Joint Commission's certification program will help health care organizations focus on the care processes that produce the best outcomes for their heart failure patients and give patients with heart failure confidence that these health care organizations are committed to quality care.”

    AHA estimates that nearly 6 million Americans suffer from heart failure, a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to the body's other organs. Although the heart keeps working, it is not as effective as it should be.

    For more information on The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification in Heart Failure program, go to Joint Commission web site. For information on Sutter’s Heart Failure Clinic, call 1-800-556-8133 or visit www.checksutterfirst.org - Heart and Vascular Services.

    Contact
    Gary Zavoral
    (916) 454-6825




    About Sutter Health
    Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, not-for-profit hospitals and other health care service providers share resources and expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Association. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology.

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