Chesterton Tribune



Porter Regional Hospital first in nation to be accredited for afib treatment

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Porter Regional Hospital is announcing that it is the first hospital in the nation to be recognized by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Accreditation Services for Atrial Fibrillation with EPS Accreditation-Version 3.

PRH was notified of the achievement at the end of February, during National Heart Month, culminating a rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with atrial fibrillation, commonly called afib.

“Porter Regional Hospital was the first in Northwest Indiana to implant a Watchman device just two years ago, and now we are first in the entire nation to be recognized for achieving the highest level of afib accreditation with EP services,” said Sean Dardeau, market CEO for Porter Health Care System. “This is an outstanding achievement in heart care for our patients and for Northwest Indiana. It shows Porter’s commitment to excellence, and confirms that high tech heart care is available right here in Valparaiso.”

“This is the result of an exceptional effort on the part of the heart teams at Porter,” said Hector J. Marchand, M.D., a cardiologist and medical director of the atrial fibrillation program. “Our goal has always been to provide superior care to our patients, and to elevate the level of heart care available in our community. We are very happy we have been able to accomplish this for our afib patients, because the condition is so common, yet so dangerous.”

“Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia in adults and is reaching epidemic proportions,” PRH said. “A 2017 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology stated nearly 7 million people in the US have afib, and it is projected that nearly 16 million will have afib by 2050. The situation is even more alarming when you consider that afib is responsible for nearly 25 percent of all reported strokes. The current annual cost of afib care in the US is more than $6 billion and nearly $26 billion when co-morbidities and indirect costs are considered. Recent worldwide estimates up to 33.5 million patients have afib, making this a global epidemic.”

“Afib is a serious condition, but it is usually a treatable condition, especially when you consider the expertise available within Porter Health Care System,” said Mark Dixon, D.O., an electrophysiologist at Porter Regional Hospital. “The multidisciplinary approach that we take involves a patient’s primary care doctor, cardiologist, and any other specialist they may see, including our cardiovascular nurse practitioner, so we can provide a full continuum of care and meet the rigorous standards called for by the American College of Cardiology.”

Dawn Nelson, MSN, APRN, CNS, NP-C, who spearheaded Porter’s accreditation efforts, said she hopes patients will understand the seriousness of an afib diagnosis. “It is important for people to understand that patients with afib are five times more likely to suffer a stroke,” she said. “It is not a harmless condition.”

Those who feel they may have symptoms of afib should see a doctor immediately. Symptoms include general fatigue, rapid and irregular heartbeat, fluttering or “thumping” in the chest, dizziness, shortness of breath and anxiety, weakness, faintness or confusion, and chest pain or pressure.

Chest pain or pressure is a medical emergency that could be an indication of a heart attack; call 911 immediately.

Hospitals receiving Atrial Fibrillation with EPS Accreditation from the ACC must take part in a multifaceted clinical process that involves completing a gap analysis, examining variances of care, developing an action plan, participating in a rigorous onsite review, and continuous monitoring for sustained success.




Posted 4/11/2018




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