Tucson Medical Center is the first hospital in Tucson to be awarded Congestive Heart Failure Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), an independent, nationally recognized accreditation authority. TMC earned this distinction by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria, showing its expertise and commitment to quality patient care. This accreditation demonstrates the hospital’s dedication to higher standards in enhancing the quality of care for heart failure patients.
“This accreditation demonstrates that we have a deep interest in these patients’ well being and that the standard of care is not only maintained, but consistently improved,” says TMC Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. Rich Rosenthal. “This is not only good for TMC, but all of Southern Arizona because typically when one hospital gets an accreditation, others follow. So this will improve the cardiovascular care in the Tucson area in general.”
“With the addition of this CHF accreditation to our atrial fibrillation and chest pain accreditations, TMC is clearly a leader in exceptional cardiovascular care in Tucson and Southern Arizona,” says TMC cardiologist Dr. Gregory Pennock from the Heart Center of Southern Arizona.
Heart failure is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. An estimated five million Americans have it. With this accreditation, TMC has demonstrated its ability to effectively manage the increasing number of heart failure patients. “Oftentimes, people who have heart disease are later diagnosed with heart failure,” explains Rosenthal. “Their heart muscle becomes dysfunctional, and cannot provide enough blood flow and oxygen to other parts of the body.” Symptoms include sudden weight gain and swollen ankles, but it’s typically shortness of breath that brings people to the hospital.
“At TMC, we work with our heart failure patients to improve their lives while giving them the tools to manage their disease at home,” says TMC Chest Pain Coordinator Julie Ward. “We educate them about their medications, and what changes they may need to make in their diet. We have a wonderful hospital-to-home program to ensure patients get home safely, do well in the subsequent weeks and months, and that they follow-up with their physician,” she says.
The SCPC is a non-profit, nationally recognized accreditation organization. It focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost, and patient satisfaction. SCPC’s goal is to help facilities evaluate and manage the heart failure patient more effectively, improve patient outcomes, and educate patients and health care providers to more efficiently care for this disease.
TMC has already been endorsed by the SCPC as an accredited Chest Pain Center and Atrial Fibrillation Center. TMC has also been awarded Primary Stroke Certification from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program.