North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) has earned The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification in Ventricular Assist Device destination therapy, paving the way for state-of- the art surgical treatment options for patients suffering from end-stage heart failure. The hospital is the first and only to receive the Joint Commission’s certification for a program of its kind in Nassau County.
A new approach, left ventricular assisted device (LVAD) “destination therapy,” is an alternative to heart transplantation for patients with severe heart failure who are unable to receive a transplant. The LVAD is a surgically implanted mechanical circulatory pump that assists the heart’s weakened left ventricle, restoring blood flow throughout the body. The pump is connected to an external, battery-powered, pocket-sized controller by a small cable that exits through the skin in the lower abdomen.
“With Joint Commission advanced LVAD certification, we are making a significant step toward maintaining excellence and continually improving the care and quality of life for patients with advanced heart failure who do not have any other treatment options available to them,” said Alessandro Bellucci, MD, NSUH’s executive director. “This is an exceptional achievement by our cardiac team because surgeons, cardiologists, nurses and other specialists of Northwell Health’s Advanced Heart Failure Program only established the LVAD program nine months ago.”
Heading Northwell’s Advanced Heart Failure Program are Gerin R. Stevens, MD, Ph.D., system director of cardiomyopathy; Harold Fernandez, MD, surgical director, and chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Southside Hospital; and David T. Majure, MD, MPH, medical director of the LVAD program at NSUH.
To earn the distinction of LVAD certification, a program undergoes an extensive on-site evaluation by a team of Joint Commission reviewers every two years. The voluntary evaluation uses national standards to assess clinical processes and the ability to evaluate and improve care and includes interviews with patients and staff.
About The Joint Commission
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.