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Year: 2010  |  Volume: 122  |  Issue: 23  |  Page No.: 2459 - 2469

Hospital Certification for Optimizing Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Quality of Care and Outcomes

G. C Fonarow, T Gregory, M Driskill, M. D Stewart, C Beam, J Butler, A. K Jacobs, N. M Meltzer, E. D Peterson, L. H Schwamm, J. A Spertus, C. W Yancy, G. F Tomaselli and R. L. Sacco


Cardiovascular disease and stroke remain leading causes of mortality, disability, and rising healthcare expenditures in the United States. Although a number of organizations provide hospital accreditation, recognition, and certification programs, existing programs do not address cardiovascular disease and stroke care in a comprehensive way. Current evidence suggests mixed findings for correlation between accreditation, recognition, and certification programs and hospitals' actual quality of care and outcomes. This advisory discusses potential opportunities to develop and enhance hospital certification programs for cardiovascular disease and stroke. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is uniquely positioned as a patient-centered, respected, transparent healthcare organization to help drive improvements in care and outcomes for patients hospitalized with cardiovascular disease and stroke. As a part of its commitment to promoting high-quality, evidence-based care for cardiovascular and stroke patients, it is recommended that the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association explore hospital certification programs to develop truly meaningful programs to facilitate improvements in and recognition for cardiovascular disease and stroke quality of care and outcomes. Future strategies should standardize objective, unbiased assessments of hospital structural, process, and outcome performance while allowing flexibility as technology and methodology advances occur.

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