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Lutheran Hospital Obtains National Validation for Atrial Fibrillation Treatment

Lutheran is the only AFib certified provider in northeastern Indiana

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Friday, Sept. 5, 2014) – Bolstering its status as the regional leader in cardiac care, Lutheran Hospital has received full Atrial Fibrillation Certification status from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.

“We are so excited to be acknowledged for setting and maintaining benchmarks of care for this segment of heart patients,” said Heather Connelly, electrophysiology manager, Lutheran Hospital. “We provide everything for AFib patients, from the onset of atrial fibrillation to ongoing outpatient care.”

Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and has become recognized as a health concern that in some cases can lead to stroke and possible death. Nearly 3 million patients in the United States have atrial fibrillation and the numbers are rapidly increasing as our population ages. Atrial fibrillation patients oftentimes use more healthcare services than those without the disease. 

“The Atrial Fibrillation Certification validates our collaboration among multiple departments,” said Latesa Conley, chest pain coordinator, Lutheran Hospital. “Since readmission rates are high for these patients, we have diligently worked to have a protocol in place with departments to get cardiac patients evaluated and treated by the appropriate caregivers.”

Lutheran Hospital’s protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient evaluation and management reduces treatment times and helps decrease a patient’s length of stay in the emergency department and in the hospital. Through the certification, Lutheran has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide range of stringent criteria and undergoing a comprehensive review by an accreditation review specialist from the SCPC including:

• Emergency department integration with emergency medical services
• Emergency assessment of patients with atrial fibrillation
• Risk stratification of the atrial fibrillation patient
• Treatment for patients presenting to the emergency department in atrial fibrillation
• Atrial fibrillation discharge criteria from the emergency department, observation services, or inpatient stay
• Atrial fibrillation patient education in the emergency department, observation services, and inpatient unit
• Personnel, competencies and training
• Process improvement
• Organizational structure and commitment
• Atrial fibrillation community outreach

Atrial fibrillation patients return to the ER when they recognize irregular heart rhythms, describing their symptoms as fatigued, winded and noticing irregular heart beating. Cardioversion may be performed to help eliminate such symptoms. Cardioversion is when the heart receives a low level electrical shock to get it back into its normal rhythm. Patients often feel improvements immediately.

If caught early enough, atrial fibrillation can be easily managed and sometimes even corrected. For more information about other cardiac care services, visit LutheranHealth.net.

About the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care
SCPC’s goal is to help facilities evaluate and manage the atrial fibrillation patient more effectively, improve patient outcomes, educate patients and enhance efficiency of care for healthcare providers.

The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care is an international nonprofit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction. As the only cross-specialty organization, SCPC provides the support needed for individual hospitals and hospital systems to effectively bridge existing gaps in treatment by providing the tools, education and support necessary to successfully navigate the changing face of healthcare. For more information on SCPC, accreditation and certification opportunities, visit scpcp.org, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.


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