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South Nassau Earns Quality Designation for Cardiovascular Care

South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Center for Cardiovascular Health has been designated an Aetna Institute of Quality (IOQ) for interventional cardiology and rhythm disease diagnosis and treatment.

As an IOQ facility, South Nassau demonstrates excellence in care and a commitment to continuous improvement and is recognized in Aetna’s DocFind® online provider directory. The goal of IOQ is to assist patients in choosing facilities that provide consistently high?quality and high?value care.

To earn the Aetna IOQ designation, South Nassau had to meet or exceed a number of strict criteria, including annual volume; availability of 24/7 emergency heart attack response teams to perform angioplasty or other interventional heart procedures; a program to consistently measure and report quality and clinical data that achieves best-in-class outcomes; and a wide scope of readily available cardiac and related clinical support services.

“This designation demonstrates to the communities and patients we serve that they can rely on us to provide them with standard-setting, leading-edge services in cardiovascular care,” said Linda Efferen, MD, chief medical officer at South Nassau.

A recipient of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Foundation’s National Cardiology Data Registry (NCDR) ACTION Registry–Get With the Guidelines (GWTG) Gold Performance Achievement Award, the Center for Cardiovascular Health treats patients with the combination of advanced technologies and best practices and is equipped with the latest advancements in cardiac digital imaging systems. Its echocardiography lab is accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for Accreditation of Echocardiography.

The center performs a wide range of coronary and peripheral interventional procedures, The center averages a “door-to-balloon-time” of approximately 62 minutes, which is 28 minutes faster than the national standard door-to-balloon time benchmark of 90 minutes. (Door-to-balloon time is the time in minutes measured from the time the patient walks in the door to the point the artery in the heart is re-opened with a stent.)

Electrophysiologists at the center use advanced technologies to provide timely, accurate diagnoses and therapies to treat a range of cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). Services include diagnostic studies, implantation and testing of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and radio-frequency catheter ablation for the treatment of potentially fatal irregular heartbeats.

The center’s clinical and non-invasive cardiologists specialize in trans-thoracic echocardiogram (a non-invasive, highly accurate and quick assessment of the overall health of the heart, in which a probe is placed on the chest wall of the patient to produce images of the heart); transesophageal echocardiogram (which uses a specialized probe containing an ultrasound transducer at its tip that is passed into the esophagus and is used to provide clear views of areas of the heart that would be difficult to view transthoracically); and stress echocardiogram (which involves exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle while the patient is monitored by technology using high-frequency sound waves that produces a graphic outline of the heart's movement, valves, and chambers).

Additional cardiac imaging services offered by the center include nuclear cardiology (which generates images of the heart at work, during exercise, and at rest) and diagnostic peripheral vascular ultrasound (noninvasive diagnostic technique used to evaluate the health of blood vessels) for patients with peripheral arterial disease.

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