Cedar Community Receives Post-Acute Care Certification from American Heart Association

Cedar Community in West Bend, Wis., has earned the Post-Acute Care Heart Failure Certification offered from the American Heart Association. This first-of-its-kind certification acknowledges the efforts of skilled nursing facilities to consistently provide high-quality patient care, improve outcomes, and reduce hospital readmissions for heart failure patients.

The Post-Acute Heart Failure Certification builds on the Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® — Heart Failure quality improvement program and provides skilled nursing facilities with tools to bridge gaps and integrate standardized care, quality initiatives, clinical best practices, and the latest scientific guidelines into their post-acute heart failure patient care processes.  

“Participation in this certification benefits the patient and the facility by standardizing care coordination practices between discharge and the skilled nursing facility,” said Ileana L. Piña, MD, MPH, FAHA, professor of medicine at Wayne State University, and a heart failure/transplant cardiologist who helped develop the criteria for the certification. “When there is clear communication between every phase of care, patients have the best opportunity for positive outcomes.”

Many heart failure patients admitted to skilled nursing facilities after being discharged from the hospital are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days. Among the proven results of the certification are reductions in the 30-day readmissions per the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rates.

“Heart failure patients need high-quality post-acute care that follows the evidence-based guidelines promoting the best patient outcomes,” said Heather Suarez Del Real, RN, Cedar Commuity’s director of nursing. “At Cedar Community, we want to be trailblazers and continue to utilize innovative methods to give our heart failure patients the best care. The American Heart Association has armed us with additional tools and recognized our success – this is an honor to have our processes and efforts be recognized in this way.”

To be eligible to receive this certification, the facility must be in the United States or operated by the U.S. government and must be implementing a heart failure program that uses a standardized method of delivering clinical care based on current evidence-based guidelines. Learn more about this certification at the Heart Association website.

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