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    Bon Secours St. Francis Health System's Cardiac Cath Lab Earns First Accreditation for High Quality Standards

    Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE) Program
    Helps Angioplasty and Stenting Programs Advance Quality and Patient Safety


    Baltimore, MD (May 5, 2011) –  The Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE) program today awarded its first accreditation to the cardiac catheterization laboratory and angioplasty/stenting program at Bon Secours St. Francis Health System in South Carolina. The presentation was made at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 2011 Scientific Sessions in Baltimore, where more than 1,400 interventional cardiologists gathered for continuing medical education.  ACE accreditation recognizes the commitment of clinicians and staff to quality assurance, peer review and use of evidence-based guidelines.


    “ACE’s goals are to help facilities achieve better patient care in their community and to increase the consistency of superior patient care in cardiovascular procedures throughout the U.S.,” said Bonnie Weiner, M.D., MSEC, MBA, FSCAI, chief medical officer and chair of ACE’s Board of Directors, and director of interventional cardiology research at Saint Vincent Hospital at Worcester Medical Center, Worcester, Mass. “Bon Secours St. Francis Health System has achieved ACE’s highest standards for quality and is a model for other cardiovascular programs. We look forward to awarding accreditation to many other deserving programs moving forward.”


    ACE provides professional review of facilities where invasive cardiac and endovascular procedures are performed and accredits those that achieve predetermined benchmarks for quality care.   ACE’s accreditation programs currently include programs that deliver angiography to diagnose blocked arteries (cardiac catheterization), angioplasty and stenting to treat blockages in the arteries of the heart (percutaneous coronary interventions, or PCI) as well as blockages in the arteries of the neck (carotid artery stenting, or CAS). ACE has plans to expand to accreditation programs for other cardiovascular procedures. ACE is currently reviewing other PCI and CAS program applications, with additional accreditation awards expected in the coming months.


    “For St. Francis to earn the very first national accreditation recognizing excellence of cardiac catheterization programs is a distinct honor,” offers Mark Nantz, chief executive officer, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. “Every day, with every patient, we see how our physicians and members of the cardiac cath lab team hold themselves to delivering the highest standards of care.  Achieving this level of recognition is a tribute to all those involved with our cardiovascular services. This first rigorous review and outstanding recognition of our cardiac catheterization services reflects to all those we serve how deeply we are committed to a healing ministry and our mission to be “Good Help.”     


    Designed to promote and uphold high-quality patient care and improve patient safety in facilities, ACE offers independent evaluation of facilities’ processes and objective peer review of outcomes based on established benchmarks derived from scientific evidence in peer-reviewed medical literature and national practice guidelines. Recent studies have shown accreditation improves patient outcomes and promotes progress toward enhanced patient safety standards. Applicants complete a comprehensive application followed by a site visit from ACE’s team of expert reviewers who assess the facility itself, its personnel, quality assurance and safety protocols, patient indications and outcomes.


    “Because we employ a standardized, unbiased assessment, patients who are treated at an ACE-accredited cardiovascular center should feel confident the facility has taken the appropriate, evidence-based steps to help ensure the best care for each individual patient,” said Dr. Weiner. 


    Programs that achieve full accreditation are recognized by ACE for two years, at which time their facility must be reviewed again for continued recognition.  ACE also provides tools and guidance for quality improvement and is committed to helping facilities achieve the highest standards of care. 


    Facilities seeking ACE accreditation can obtain more information and complete the application process at www.cvexcel.org.


    About ACE

    The Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure high-quality patient care and promote patient safety in facilities where invasive cardiac and endovascular procedures are performed. ACE will achieve its mission by setting standards for quality care, establishing requirements for accreditation, and providing peer review of cardiac and endovascular programs. ACE will also provide tools and resources to support self-evaluation and quality improvement. For more information about ACE, visit www.cvexcel.org.