Norton Audubon, Norton Hospital recognized for expertise in atrial fibrillation care

Only acute care hospitals in Louisville to get atrial fibrillation accreditation.

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

Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital are the only two acute care facilities in Louisville to obtain this accreditation and two of only three hospitals in the state of Kentucky. The ACC recognized Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital with A-fib certification in 2014. After the initial three-year cycle of certification, both facilities were eligible for accreditation.

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that raises health risks

Atrial fibrillation is a common arrhythmia in which the heartbeat is irregular and often rapid. It can lead to increased risk for stroke, heart failure and other complications. 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 atrial fibrillation 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 of 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.”

Atrial fibrillation accreditation involves rigorous review

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; 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 administrative staff that earnestly support the efforts leading 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 Morris, M.D., clinical cardiac electrophysiologist with Norton Heart Specialists. “The re-accreditation recognizes our team effort in diagnosing and educating A-fib patients, and our focus on providing what is best for these patients.”

Multidisciplinary approach

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

“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 atrial fibrillation.

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