American College of Cardiology recognizes A-fib program

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has recognized Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital for their demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with A-fib. Both facilities were awarded Atrial Fibrillation with Electrophysiology Services (EPS) accreditation based on rigorous on-site evaluation of staff ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with A-fib.

Facilities earning Atrial Fibrillation with EPS accreditation not only demonstrate management of A-fib, but also provide full electrophysiology and surgical services.

Hospitals that employ an evidence-based, protocol-driven and systematic approach to managing A-fib have been able to reduce patients’ time to treatment, better identify and predict high-risk patients and limit the length of a patient’s stay in the emergency department and hospital.

“ACC Accreditation Services is proud to bestow Atrial Fibrillation with EPS accreditation on Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital,” said Abraham Joseph, vice president, ACC Accreditation Services. “We commend both facilities for their demonstrated commitment to providing Louisville and the surrounding communities with excellent care of A-fib patients.”

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Hospitals receiving Atrial Fibrillation with EPS accreditation from the ACC must take part in a multifaceted clinical process that involves completing a gap analysis, examining variances of care, developing an action plan and undergoing a rigorous on-site review and monitoring for sustained success. Improved methods and strategies of caring for patients include streamlining processes, implementing guidelines and standards, and adopting best practices in the precise care of A-fib patients. Facilities that achieve accreditation meet or exceed an array of stringent criteria and have organized a team of doctors, nurses, clinicians and other staff who earnestly support the efforts. These practices lead to better patient education, improved patient outcomes, and more effective and efficient disease control.

“The teams of physicians, advanced care providers, nurses, respiratory therapists and everyone interacting with our patients at Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital work diligently to provide excellent care and education to those living with A-fib,” said Kent E. Morris, M.D., clinical cardiac electrophysiologist, Norton Heart Specialists. “The reaccreditation recognizes our team effort in diagnosing and educating A-fib patients and our focus on providing what is best for these patients.”

The physicians and advanced practice providers with Norton Heart & Vascular Institute take an active role in seeking out advanced-level treatment options, including new medication and surgical options. Physicians with Norton Heart & Vascular Institute were the first in the Louisville region to use the Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Closure, a medical device used in the heart to help reduce the risk of stroke in patients with certain types of A-fib.

“This is just one example of how a multidisciplinary team within cardiology is working to provide care to our patients,” Dr. Morris said. “With advanced treatment options and ongoing patient education, our patients will continue to see improvements in their quality of life when living with A-fib.”

The ACC and the American Heart Association are collaborating to offer U.S. hospitals like Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital access to a comprehensive suite of cobranded cardiac accreditation services designed to optimize patient outcomes and improve hospital financial performance. These services are focused on all aspects of cardiac care, including A-fib.

More about achieving this prestigious designation can be found in the April issue of EP Lab Digest. Read the full story at

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