• ACE in the News

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    Perspectives on ACE Reaccreditation: the Healthcare Executive’s View


    An Interview with Johnna Reed, RN, BSN

    In February 2014, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System in Greenville, South Carolina, was the first hospital to receive reaccreditation for its cardiac catheterization laboratory and CathPCI program from the Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE). ACE accreditation is a strategic, long-term approach to quality improvement based on comparing a facility’s internal quality data against national metrics and best practices as defined by experts in the field of interventional cardiology.

    The Bon Secours St. Francis Health System was also the first hospital to be nationally recognized with ACE accreditation in 2011. Programs that achieve full accreditation are recognized by ACE for two years, at which time their facility must be reviewed again for continued recognition. To achieve ACE reaccreditation, the physicians and staff at Bon Secours St. Francis Health System worked hand-in-hand with ACE’s external quality reviewers to implement appropriate use criteria (AUC), standardize the documentation and reporting of AUC data, validate adherence to current clinical practice guidelines, and engage all cath lab team members in the quality-improvement process.

    Johnna Reed, RN, BSN, Vice President of Business Development, Heart and Vascular Services, provides her viewpoint on the ACE reaccreditation process with Bon Secours St. Francis Health System.

    Q. Why did Bon Secours St. Francis Health System decide to pursue ACE reaccreditation?

    Ms. Reed: After going through initial accreditation in 2011, we recognized that the ACE external review process was an effective tool that helped us validate the value we are bringing to our community. We all want to believe we do good work and provide quality care, but how do we know? There is no shortage of benchmarks in cardiovascular medicine, but how do we measure ourselves against those metrics? Having an organization like ACE come in and dissect what we are doing on a day-to-day basis provides an in-depth validation that lets us know we are headed in the right direction. When we became eligible for reaccreditation, there was no question that we would invite ACE to review our processes and performance again.

    The Institute for Healthcare improvement (www.IHI.org) defined the “Triple Aim” of optimizing health system performance: better quality of care for patients; better health outcomes for populations; and lower per-capita health care costs. The American College of Cardiology (ACC), American Heart Association (AHA), Society for Cardiovascular Angiography (SCAI), and other organizations have adopted the Triple Aim as a framework for clinical practice guidelines and quality-improvement initiatives.

    "The ACE reviewers ... want to know how we are delivering on patient outcomes. Are we meeting the national standards of care in CV medicine? ... It is incredibly valuable to have a focused roadmap for improvement."