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Sunday 1:33 CST, April 20, 2014

Advanced Certification in Ventricular Assist Device


Who will be eligible for this certification?

Hospitals performing VAD as a destination therapy will be eligible to receive the certification of distinction.  In addition to the eligibility requirements outlined in the Disease-Specific Care Certification Manual, programs seeking VAD Destination Therapy certification must also:

  1. Be providing VAD Destination Therapy to an adult population.

  2. Have facilities with the infrastructure to support ventricular assist device placements as evidenced by adequate staffing and facilities to perform and recover patients after cardiac surgery.

  3. Be an active continuous member of a national, audited registry for mechanically assisted circulatory support devices that requires submission of health data on ventricular assist device destination[1] therapy patients from the date of implantation throughout the remainder of their lives.

  4. Include a board certified cardiac surgeon who meets the following volume requirement:

    • Placed 10 ventricular assist devices (VADs) in the last 36 months with current activity in the last 12 months.  If a surgeon on the team has not placed ten (10) VADs during the required time period, the volume requirements can be met by including artificial heart placements for no more than 50% of the total volume.

    • The volume requirement is effective at the time the application is submitted to the Joint Commission.  It is considered over a rolling time period effective at the time of application or renewal.

Eligibility Exceptions:  Pediatric specialty hospitals are not eligible for certification under this program at the present time. 

How long will the certification be valid?

The certification will be valid for two years.  There will be a performance measurement requirement on the one year anniversary of the certification.

What is required for Certification?

  1. Standards:  Programs applying for Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Destination Therapy Certification will be evaluated using the standards in the Disease-Specific Care Certification Manual.

  2. Clinical Practice Guidelines: The program must demonstrate conformity with clinical practice guidelines or evidence-based practice that includes the VAD-specific requirements that are integrated with the Disease Specific Care requirements.

  3. Performance Measures: All certified VAD programs will be required to comply with the Phase I requirements for performance measurement until standardized performance measures have been identified.  

Phase I Requirements for Performance Measurement:  DSC Certification programs and services are required to collect and analyze data on at least four performance measures related to or identified in clinical practice guidelines for each program or service.  Measures selected by the program or service should be evidence-based, relevant, valid and reliable.  Joint Commission will not be prescriptive during Stage I regarding which specific measures are to be implemented; the emphasis will be on the use of performance measures for improving care. The standards require the disease-specific care program or service to demonstrate that it:

  • Routinely applies the cycle for performance improvement to identify and address improvement opportunities

  • Implements a plan for improvement and graphically depicts measurement results over time to demonstrate improvement in the measured areas

  • Reviews the effectiveness of the interventions implemented in response to improvement opportunities identified by the measurement activity.


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