Northwell Health at Home, the health system’s home care agency, earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Heart Failure Certification – one of only a handful of organizations in New York State to achieve this distinction.
“The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval stands for outstanding quality that reflects Northwell’s commitment to providing safe and effective care in treating patients with heart failure in the community,” said Merryl Siegel, senior vice president, regional executive director of Northwell Health at Home/Post Acute Services. The recognition was awarded for two years.
Northwell Health at Home underwent a rigorous on-site review in late December 2018. Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with national disease-specific care standards as well as with heart failure condition-specific requirements. Clinical practice guidelines and performance measures also were assessed.
Northwell Health at Home’s heart failure disease management program focuses on improving quality of life and preventing disease progression by reducing complications while increasing support and coping skills to empower patients to manage their illness.
The goals of the program include decreasing hospitalizations and emergency care visits as well as reducing symptoms or maintaining stabilization. The program was developed using clinical practice guidelines from the American Heart Association, the Heart Society of America and the New York Heart Association Functional Class.
Approximately 5.7 million adults in the United States have heart failure, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough oxygenated blood to meet the needs of the body’s other organs. Common symptoms include: Shortness of breath during daily activities, trouble breathing when lying down, weight gain with swelling in the feet, ankles or stomach, and feeling tired or weak.
“Ten percent of the patients we treat at home have a diagnosis of heart failure, which translates to about 5,000 patients a year,” Ms. Siegel said. “The Joint Commission recognition demonstrates to patients and families that Northwell is a leader in heart failure care and uses the latest evidence-based guidelines to provide the highest level of care possible.”
Ms. Siegel explained that the Joint Commission certification also validates that the home care agency’s heart failure disease management program has strong clinical integration with Northwell’s heart failure program systemwide. “We have close ties with our nurse and physician experts developing inpatient programs and our team closely coordinates with cardiologists in outpatient settings,” she said. “The continuum of care for heart failure patients is excellent.”
Patients treated by Northwell at Home clinicians are closely followed when they are discharged from the hospital. Several patients have received mechanical hearts (LVAD) while others are on the heart transplant list. Northwell at Home cares for more than 50,000 patients annually. It includes a team of about 2,000 nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech language therapists, social workers and home health aides who work with patients in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester and Putnam counties.
For more information about Northwell Heath at Home services, call 888-447-8544.