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MultiCare's heart program earns certification
MultiCare Health System’s heart team has earned the Gold Seal of Approval for quality health care. The Joint Commission awarded Disease-Specific Care Certification to the Ventricular Assist Device Program at Tacoma General Heart Hospital.
MultiCare’s program in Tacoma is the only non-transplant center west of the Mississippi that can offer destination ventricular assist device therapy.
A ventricular assist device is a mechanical pump that helps a heart that is too weak to pump blood effectively through the body. In the past, MultiCare used the device as a “bridge.” For a person awaiting a donor heart, the device was a “bridge to transplantation.” For those who needed temporary support until they can recuperate from a damaging heart attack, the device was a “bridge to recovery.”
Now MultiCare offers the device as a long-term alternative for people with severe heart failure who may not be candidates for a heart transplant. This is referred to as “destination therapy,” and utilizes an implantable device that lets the patient go home.
“As more Americans experience end-stage heart failure, there’s a growing demand for mechanical circulatory support therapy,” said Dr. Dennis Nichols, a Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Tacoma General Heart Hospital. “With our full spectrum of cardiac surgery care, we’re among the few hospitals in the nation that can provide this option for our patients. I think destination therapy is going to be increasingly necessary in the future.”
To earn Joint Commission certification, the program undergoes an extensive, unannounced evaluation by Joint Commission reviewers every two years. The program is evaluated against Joint Commission standards through an assessment of a program’s processes, the program’s ability to evaluate and improve care within its own organization, and interviews with patients and staff.
“The certification establishes that our program has met the high standards set by the Joint Commission,” said Rachanee Curry, Administrator of MultiCare’s Cardiac Careline. “Our team has demonstrated that we have the processes in place to deliver the very best outcomes for our patients. Our team’s collaborative approach and dedication to excellence show our commitment to building the highest-quality program.”
The HeartMate II device used by MultiCare is the same heart pump that former Vice President Dick Cheney received in July.
Home to the highest level of cardiovascular care available in the region, the Tacoma General Heart Hospital is dedicated exclusively to the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases while thoughtfully meeting the needs of patients and families. The hospital clusters cardiac and vascular services in one location, providing patients with better-connected care.
Services available at the heart hospital include cardiac and vascular operating suites, digital cardiac catheterization labs, brand new cardiovascular intensive care and coronary care units, and a chest pain cardiovascular short stay unit. Tacoma General Hospital and area physicians have a long history of leading the way for heart and vascular medicine in the Puget Sound region.
Posted on Nov 29, 2010 in