The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) has granted the PHA-accredited Center of Comprehensive Care (CCC) designation to the Pulmonary Hypertension Center at Rhode Island Hospital, making it one of the first centers of its type to receive the status in the country. The accreditation is given to centers for their excellency in offering the most advanced healthcare in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension (PH).
The PHA includes specialized healthcare centers in their PHA accreditation program in order to improve the treatment results of patients who suffer from the debilitating lung condition that causes a malfunction of the heart and can provoke heart failure. The association analyzed the services provided at the Pulmonary Hypertension Center at Rhode Island Hospital according to a series of parameters prior to granting the designation, as announced in a press release.
“Health care centers across the country are undergoing the rigorous review process to receive accreditation and demonstrate that they meet and exceed national standards of excellence,” explained Murali Chakinala, who is a member of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Oversight Committee. “In addition to providing lifesaving care for patients, these specialty care centers, like the one at Rhode Island Hospital, are valuable resources for medical professionals and families of people living with pulmonary hypertension.”
The PHA criteria includes inpatient wards with specially-trained staff and specific protocols on PH such as chronic prostacyclin infusion, intensive care facilities, a cardiac catheterization laboratory, an echocardiography laboratory, a pulmonary function laboratory, a pharmacy with access to and proficiency with parenteral prostacyclin agents, an active radiology department with experience in PH, and active participation in at least three patient-oriented PH research projects over the last three years. A center must also staff experts in pulmonary, cardiology and critical care medicine with academic credentials and who are experienced in the treatment of PH, as well as managing a group of PH patients.
“Because of our accreditation status, health care professionals in the community will know that the depth and breadth of our resources are available to them and their patients,” stated the medical director of the center, James R. Klinger, MD. While the center’s associate director, Corey E. Ventetuolo, MD, MS, remembered that “twenty years ago, no treatment was effective against this disease. Today, a quick and accurate diagnosis is critically important to ensure patients get access to treatment early.”
The specialization of the center in PH was initiated by a partnership established 25 years ago between the Rhode Island Hospital and the University Medicine’s Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine. Since then, the center has evolved into a collaborative, interdisciplinary center able to treat patients with all kinds and severities of PH.
The center is not only focused on providing the most advanced treatments, but also in conducting research, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Chest Physicians.