Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health system comprising 105 hospitals in 19 states, sought national accreditation for its cardiac catheterization laboratories. The decision to seek accreditation was made by the National Cardiovascular Service Line Senior Leadership Team, which aimed to demonstrate to the community (including consumers, referring physicians, and regulators) that CHI cardiac catheterization laboratories meet or exceed nationally recognized standards in heart care.
Selecting an accrediting body
The CHI search team, operating on a national level, evaluated multiple accrediting bodies based on services identified as most relevant and beneficial to CHI. The search criteria included identifying accrediting bodies with expertise on conditions such as heart failure, acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The search team chose Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE) as the accreditor for its catheterization laboratories, concluding that ACE would provide the broadest, most comprehensive evaluation of CHI’s catheterization laboratory operations and procedures. The search team also characterized ACE’s approach as “holistic” because of its emphasis on standardizing policies, procedures and equipment across multi-hospital health systems, as opposed to offering accreditation programs on a hospital-by-hospital basis.
ACE accreditation includes physician-to-physician guidance, with the goal of ensuring compliance with nationally recognized standards to maintain the integrity of each individual CHI cath lab. Additionally, while the ACE accreditation process would identify best practices as well as shortcomings at individual CHI hospitals, the report itself would encompass all CHI cath lab facilities. ACE’s approach lined up well with the integrated cardiovascular service line and quality structure within CHI Health’s Omaha market.