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Richmond University Medical Center Cardiac Care Awarded Dual Recertification

October 9, 2019 – The Joint Commission, the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care, has awarded gold seal recertification to Richmond University Medical Center for the high standard of care provided to patients experiencing chest pain or suffering heart failure. Gold seal recertification is the highest awarded by the commission, which has now certified the chest pain and heart failure care services at the hospital four consecutive years. In partnership with the commission, the American Heart Association also awarded its Heart Check Mark to the hospital for meeting its requirements in the same areas of care.

“According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene the premature death rate for the north shore of Staten Island exceeds the death rate for the rest of Staten Island and New York City overall. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of this statistic,” hospital president and chief executive officer Dr. Daniel J. Messina said. “With the north shore being our primary service area and time being so critical in cardiac emergencies, it is vital that our hospital have the most advanced, comprehensive services on site, at all times. I am honored that The Joint Commission and American Heart Association agree that our hospital is continuously providing the highest quality of cardiac care available.”

New York State has the 17th highest death rate from cardiovascular disease in the country. The Staten Island heart disease death rate is the highest in New York City. Heart disease is often a result of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. More than 25 percent of Staten Island adults report having high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol.

In the last 12 months, over 61,700 patients received care in Richmond University Medical Center’s emergency department. Almost 10,000 patients were diagnosed with chest pain and over 540 were treated for heart failure. Chest pain was the most common reason reported for seeking medical attention at the hospital which has served Staten Island for over 100 years.

Richmond University Medical Center underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review to achieve recertification. During the visit, a team of commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards including program management, assisting patients with self-management, and delivering and facilitating clinical care. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews while at the hospital.

“Chest pain and heart failure certifications recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” Mark Pelletier, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive for The Joint Commission, said. “We commend Richmond University Medical Center for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for cardiac patients.”

Founded in 1951, more than 22,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States are accredited or certified by The Joint Commission.

Richmond University Medical Center was among the first to use clot-dissolving medications, which when administered within the first few hours of a heart attack, can reestablish blood flow to the heart and minimize or even reverse tissue damage. The hospital’s emergency department is staffed and equipped to offer individuals experiencing chest pain immediate priority evaluation and, if necessary, emergency intervention and admission, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Additional on-site cardiac care services include a coronary care unit staffed by experienced cardiac nurses, cardiologists, cardiac fellows and medical residents; a coronary care unit specializing in the most advanced treatments to care for heart attack patients; and a telemetry monitoring unit for cardiology patients "stepping-down" from intensive care. Diagnostic cardiac catheterizations and interventional procedures are also performed in the hospital’s on-site cardiac catheterization lab and last August the hospital reestablished its cardiopulmonary rehabilitation services by opening a new state-of-the-art center at the hospital’s main campus in West Brighton.