The Division of Cardiology at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia has been designated a “Center of Excellence” by the American College of Cardiologists (ACC), the top recognition the professional association can confer. Two sections within cardiology, Interventional Cardiology and Electrophysiology, were also accredited as Centers of Excellence, making Einstein the only hospital in Philadelphia to have any of these designations and only the fourth hospital in the country to have all three designations.
The formal recognition “demonstrates to the community the facility’s commitment and dedication to provide exceptional cardiac care,” according to the ACC.
Dr. Sumeet Mainigi, Chair of Cardiology and Director of Electrophysiology at Einstein, said he was very gratified by the ACC’s recognition of the heart programs, adding that it acknowledges a quality of care that is exemplified by the cardiology team each and every day.
“While I think we should take tremendous pride in being recognized as part of an elite group of cardiovascular programs and hospitals in the United States, in my mind these distinctions represent Einstein's long history of commitment to excellence,” he said.
“When I arrived at Einstein 13 years ago, I was immediately impressed by the outstanding education, ground-breaking research, state-of-the-art technology, and cutting-edge care being provided,” he said. “I was even more impressed by the intelligent, hard-working, compassionate and dedicated individuals who work tirelessly each day to care for patients in our community.”
Dr. Mainigi began the accreditation process nearly a year ago, assembling a multi-disciplinary team of nurses, physicians, administrators and others to do an “exhaustive evaluation” of the processes and protocols that were in place. “It was a long process that required a tremendous amount of effort,” he said.
While practitioners were already employing best practices, for instance, sometimes those practices weren’t formally documented and standardized. “In cases where they weren’t written down, we formalized protocols and put pen to paper,” he said.
The intense scrutiny also led to improved interventions. For instance, patients who receive a Watchman – a heart implant designed to prevent a stroke due to atrial fibrillation – need scrupulous follow-up care, especially in the months immediately after the procedure. “It’s been a perpetual challenge for us, given that we have a vulnerable population with limitations regarding the availability of transportation and work requirements that make it difficult to make and keep appointments,” Dr. Mainigi said.
The team developed protocols in which all a patient’s necessary appointments were scheduled in advance, insurance pre-authorization was obtained, and every practitioner who cared for the patient made sure the next appointment was in place. “At every touchpoint, there was a constant navigator circling behind the patient making sure they showed up,” Dr. Mainigi said. “There was a lot of chasing people down, and not letting anyone slip through the cracks.” The result was that every Watchman patient received the entirety of follow-up care, with the 100 percent record surpassing the national average of 83 percent.
Dr. Mainigi noted that the ACC distinction was a meaningful designation.. “This is recognition by a prestigious professional association and only a small number of hospitals have these distinctions.”
“What it means is that we have levels of standard quality and performance which are exceptional,” Dr. Mainigi said. “A patient will know the care they are receiving is top notch."
About Einstein Healthcare Network
Einstein Healthcare Network is a healthcare system with approximately 1,000 beds and more than 8,700 employees serving the communities of Philadelphia and Montgomery County, Pa. The Network is made up of three acute care hospitals including Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, the largest independent academic medical center in the Philadelphia region training over 3,500 health professional students each year with 400 residents in more than 30 accredited programs; Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park; and Einstein Medical Center Montgomery. The Network also includes MossRehab, consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top rehabilitation hospital in the nation; Willowcrest, named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best nursing homes for short-term rehabilitation care in Philadelphia; outpatient care centers; and a network of more than 900 primary care physicians and specialists throughout the region. For more information, visit www.einstein.edu or call 1-800-EINSTEIN.