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Medical Center of Central Georgia Earns Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval

Medical Center of Central Georgia Earns Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™

Heart Failure Center Receives Advanced Certification for New Cardiac Program 

MACON, GA (Wednesday, January 23, 2013) – The Heart Failure Center at The Medical Center of Central Georgia (MCCG) has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™ for its Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) program by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission's national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care. The certification award recognizes the MCCG's dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission's state-of-the- art standards.

"With Joint Commission certification, we are making a significant investment in quality on a day-to-day basis,” said Dr. Ninfa Saunders, President and CEO of MCCG. “Joint Commission accreditation helps create a culture of excellence. Achieving Joint Commission certification in our ventricular assist program is a major step toward maintaining excellence and continually improving the care we provide.”

The Heart Failure Center at MCCG expanded its heart failure program to offer LVAD implantation in June, joining a select group of leading medical centers to offer mechanical circulatory support for advanced heart failure patients. Approximately three inches long and weighing just 10 ounces, the LVAD attaches to the heart and is designed to assist or take over the pumping function of the patient's left ventricle. The device restores blood flow and improves survival and quality of life for advanced heart failure patients who have exhausted the limitations of other medical therapies. Since the first LVAD implantation on June 7, 2012, all seven LVAD recipients have been discharged from MCCG and are doing well at home.

“Achieving the national recognition of certification as an LVAD program of excellence through The Joint Commission is extremely satisfying to our high performance, multidisciplinary team,” said Dr. John O'Connell, Executive Director of the Heart Failure Center at the Georgia Heart Center at MCCG. “This reflects the passion we all have to provide the best care experience and to deliver outstanding quality outcomes for the people in our region needing cardiac assistance. There are approximately 115 approved programs, and that we are the only approved center in the state located outside of the Atlanta area.”

MCCG underwent a rigorous on-site survey earlier this year when a team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated MCCG for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients and families, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

"In achieving Joint Commission advanced certification, the Heart Failure Center at The Medical Center of Central Georgia has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients with heart failure," said Jean Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q. executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and The Joint Commission commends The Medical Center of Central Georgia for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

The Joint Commission's Disease-Specific Care Certification Program, launched in 2002, is designed to evaluate clinical programs across the continuum of care. Certification requirements address three core areas: compliance with consensus-based national standards, effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care, and an organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.