Image of a heart in the chest

U.S. hospitals and other institutions will have access to comprehensive cardiovascular accreditation services in 2017 through a new collaboration between the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association.

The services focus on cardiac care — including chest pain, cardiac catheterization, atrial fibrillation and heart failure — and integrate evidence-based science, quality initiatives, clinical best practices and guidelines.

“The ACC and the AHA have worked together for more than 30 years to develop cardiovascular clinical guidelines and translate those guidelines into programs and services that shape clinical care and improve patient outcomes,” said Shal Jacobovitz, CEO of the ACC. “Through this collaboration, we can increase the scope and positive impact of accreditation on cardiovascular patient care.”

The ACC added accreditation services to its quality improvement programs for hospitals and other facilities earlier this year when it merged with the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. In the last 18 years, SCPC has accredited more than 1,000 hospitals and other facilities to improve clinical processes to diagnose and treat heart disease.

For more than a decade, the AHA has provided heart disease and stroke accreditation and certification programs and quality improvement initiatives for more than 2,000 hospitals and millions of patients across the country.

By joining forces, the ACC and AHA will provide unbiased, actionable and achievable benchmarks for hospitals and clinical leaders as they raise their standards of clinical performance.

“Bringing together the collective resources and expertise of our two organizations, we have a unique opportunity to further accelerate the improvement of cardiovascular care for all Americans,” said AHA CEO Nancy Brown. “This collaboration builds upon our shared commitment to transform health care and help people live healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases.”