Artificial Heart Program Earns Updated VAD Certification

August 04, 2009

The Artificial Heart Program, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center Program in Heart Failure and Transplantation, has received updated certification for its work with ventricular assist devices from the Joint Commission, the nation’s predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

To earn the initial Certification of Distinction in 2008, the program underwent an extensive, unannounced, on-site evaluation by a team of Joint Commission reviewers. It was evaluated against Joint Commission standards through an assessment of the program’s processes, the program’s ability to evaluate and improve care within its own organization, and interviews with patients and staff.

The Certification of Distinction is valid for two years, through 2010, with a one-year mid-cycle review that took place earlier this year, resulting in the updated certification.

Ventricular assist devices (VADs) have become a significant component of the URMC Program in Heart Failure and Transplantation. The Artificial Heart team, led by senior transplant surgeon H. Todd Massey, M.D., has implanted more than 300 VADs. Greater than 50 percent of VAD patients are bridged with ventricular assist devices while awaiting heart transplantation, with most of the patients being able to wait at home for long periods of time.

The URMC Program in Heart Failure and Transplantation is the only comprehensive heart failure and transplant service in upstate New York. It is a national leader in research efforts to further the treatment of heart failure and return patients that suffer from heart failure to healthy and productive lives. To learn more about the program, log on to www.urmc.rochester.edu.

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Karin Christensen
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