Healthy Hearts: Merit Health Wesley awarded Cardiovascular excellence


Merit Health Wesley has been awarded the American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Center of Excellence accreditation, a comprehensive level of designation for cardiovascular care. It recognizes hospitals committed to following proven treatment guidelines, providing a comprehensive system of care to fully address the needs of patients with complex cardiac conditions.

Hospitals accredited as Cardiovascular Centers of Excellence must meet or exceed standards established using multidisciplinary treatment models for all types of cardiovascular patients. 

These standards include 24/7 cardiovascular services, comprehensive training for all staff caring for this patient population, a strong internal and external systems of care approach to deliver services and extensive community outreach to help their population recognize and participate in cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular Centers of Excellence accredited facilities are recognized as champions in their populations' health.

"Merit Health Wesley has a long history of providing our patients high quality cardiovascular care centered in current scientific research," said Phebe McKay, Chief Nursing officer.  "The American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Center of Excellence Accreditation is another example of this, highlighting our commitment to continually improving the comprehensive treatment and care for our patients."

Merit Health Wesley is also the area's first and only accredited Chest Pain Center and the only hospital in the area accredited for Heart Failure care. Other accomplishments that showcase their commitment to heart care include:

• 2018 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines(r)-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

• AHA, Get With The Guidelines Heart Failure Gold Plus Target HF Quality Achievement Award 2017

• AHA, Get With The Guidelines Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award 2017

• Certified in 2016 by the AHA/American Stroke Association and The Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center.

• AHA, Get with the Guidelines: Gold Plus Achievement Award, 2013, 2014 and 2015

• Society of Chest Pain Centers, Accredited for Heart Failure since 2012

• Recognized by the AHA as a Gold Fit Friendly Hospital

To receive certification, Merit Health Wesley underwent reviews by the American Heart Association's accreditation review team. During the reviews, cardiovascular quality improvement specialists reviewed the hospital's policies, procedures and operations to ensure the best diagnosis, treatment and education protocols were in place and executed for cardiovascular patients. The facility also demonstrated efforts in enhancing their community's awareness on the importance of cardiovascular health.

Key areas in which Merit Health Wesley demonstrated a commitment to adherence to accreditation required treatment standards include:

• Educating the community and staff on heart care

•  Recognizing and responding to community health needs

• Collaborating with Emergency Management

•  Care team coordination

•  Growth of cardiac care services

Through the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence  accreditation program, Merit Health Wesley joins with the American Heart Association in hopes to significantly reduce cardiac death and disability by teaching the public to recognize and react to early symptoms of heart diseases, reduce the time it takes to receive lifesaving treatments and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment administered.