A hospital certification program offered by the American Heart Association (AHA) and The Joint Commission will be made available to hospitals seeking to implement exceptional efforts to foster a better quality of care and outcomes for patients with advanced heart failure, according to an AHA news release.

The Advanced Heart Failure Certification program is based on the most recent clinical practice guidelines for heart failure. Hospitals applying for certification must actively participate in the AHA Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure program.

The advanced certification program promotes heart failure management, including standard methods of delivering or coordinating care; implementation of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines; use of a secure and timely system for sharing information that safeguards patient rights and privacy; a comprehensive performance improvement program; and clinical practices supporting self-management for patients.

Certification Program 

The certification program requires organizations to actively participate in the AHA hospital-based quality improvement program; collect data on certification measures; provide ambulatory care services through a collaborative relationship between hospitals and cardiology practices; and meet standard requirements under the certification program.

"This certification provides an important way for hospitals to distinguish themselves, and, more importantly, it helps raise the bar for heart failure care nationwide," Clyde Yancy, M.D., voluntary chairman of the AHA Get With the Guidelines Committee, said in a statement.