Intermountain Medical Center First Utah Hospital to Receive Prestigious Quality Designation for Heart Failure Program

Jess Gomez

 (801) 507-7455

 9/1/2011

MURRAY, UT (9/1/2011) – Intermountain Medical Center, which treats more Utah heart failure patients than any other center, is the first hospital in Utah to receive advanced certification in heart failure from The Joint Commission, the organization that accredits hospitals nationwide.

The certification recognizes Intermountain Medical Center’s success in providing the best possible care in diagnosing, treating, and monitoring patients with heart failure, a disease that affects more than six million people in the United States.

“Intermountain Healthcare has a long tradition of setting goals for optimal care based on national guidelines. Since the creation of our Heart Failure program in 2000, we have used these standards to provide best-practice care for our patients living with heart failure. We have been able to demonstrate that by meeting these goals, patients live longer and do better,” said cardiologist Deborah Budge, MD, a heart failure specialist at Intermountain Medical Center.

The Heart Failure Treatment and Prevention Program at Intermountain Medical Center plays a key role in coordinating heart failure care, from routine outpatient management through advanced therapies including heart transplant, artificial heart and ventricular assist device technologies. The program includes two physicians who are board certified in advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology, and two certified heart failure nurses. The success and foundation of the program is centered on establishing and implementing “best-practice” guidelines in the hospital and in the community. This approach has increased survival rates, decreased hospital admissions, and made improvements in quality of life for heart failure patients.

“Having an expertise in heart failure allows our team to be a resource to others across our healthcare system as well as to patients and other providers in the Intermountain West. Our goal has been to share knowledge to assist others with the care of heart failure in their community,” said Kismet Rasmusson, nurse practitioner with the Heart Failure Prevention and Treatment Program.

The Joint Commission created the Advanced Certification in Heart Failure program using criteria outlined in the American Heart Association’s “Get With The Guidelines” program. These clinical practice guidelines include recommendations related to assessment, monitoring, management and performance improvement of heart failure care across inpatient and outpatient settings.

Heart failure is a common condition affecting nearly 6 million people in the United States. People with heart failure have a heart that either doesn’t adequately fill with blood or squeeze efficiently. The result is shortness of breath, activity intolerance and fatigue. Heart failure causes more than 1 million hospitalizations each year and up to 15 million office visits. It is the most common discharge diagnosis for those over the age of 65.

In addition to the heart failure certification, Intermountain Medical Center has also received advanced certification from The Joint Commission in ventricular assist device care and stroke care.
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