Ascension Via Christi has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its Wichita Heart Failure and Chest Pain programs’ certification — a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.
Via Christi underwent a rigorous on-site review in March for both programs, during which Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with national disease-specific care standards as well as with heart failure and chest pain-specific requirements.
Clinical practice guidelines and performance measures also were assessed.
Established in 2002 and awarded for a two-year period, The Joint Commission’s disease-specific care certification evaluates clinical programs across the continuum of care and addresses 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.
Via Christi’s Heart Failure program first received disease-specific certification in 2003 and has maintained it every year since.
“The Joint Commission pushes us to take on new challenges with each recertification so that we can serve a larger patient population and expand our vision and focus,” said Jennifer Jackson, MD, who serves as medical director for Via Christi’s Transitional Care Programs. “By focusing on transitions of care and enhanced outpatient care, the surveyors told us that we are the model for the nation.”
Emergency Department physician Ed Castro, MD, and cardiologist Ali Elkharbotly, MD, led Via Christi’s effort in obtaining first-time certification by The Joint Commission for Chest Pain.
“This validates the hard work of our administration, nursing and support teams, and physicians in order to provide the best possible care for patients in our region,” Dr. Elkharbotly said. “It shows the community we aspire to achieve the highest standards as established by the highest medical governing bodies."
The two certifications were received within three months of Ascension Via Christi St. Francis’ certification from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center, the second one in Kansas and the only one to date in south-central Kansas.
"Via Christi has thoroughly demonstrated a high level of care for patients with heart failure, chest pain and stroke,” said Wendi J. Roberts, RN, executive director, Certification Programs, The Joint Commission. “We commend Via Christi for becoming a leader in these areas, potentially providing a higher standard of service for cardiovascular patients in its community.”