Prairie Heart Institute Breaks a Record: First Cath Lab in Illinois to Achieve ACE Accreditation

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Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE) selected for insights on quality care.

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Even when you know you are providing the highest quality care, your documentation can lag behind the quality of work you are doing,” said Gregory J. Mishkel, MD, Executive Medical Director of the Prairie Heart Institute in Springfield, IL.

The Prairie Heart Institute at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, has become the first cardiac catheterization laboratory in Illinois to achieve ACE accreditation. It is also one of the highest volume facilities to achieve this notable accomplishment.

“When you are a large cath lab, it can be very difficult to get your arms around the processes that are necessary to deliver quality,” said Gregory J. Mishkel, MD, FRCPC, FACC, FSCAI, FSVM, and the Executive Medical Director of the Prairie Heart Institute. The Heart Institute leadership partnered with ACE to ensure that every aspect of the Prairie Heart Institute’s operation met or exceeded nationally accepted best practices in interventional cardiology care.

The Prairie Heart Institute comprises 2 outpatient cath labs and 8 inpatient cath labs. Three of the inpatient labs are used for electrophysiology (EP) studies, while 5 inpatient labs treat patients with coronary, endovascular, and structural heart disease. In total, this high-volume facility performs 7,000 to 7,500 procedures annually, including approximately 125 percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures each month.

During the review process, the Prairie Heart Institute earned kudos for many aspects of its program. ACE expert reviewers also identified opportunities to update processes related to documentation. The feedback was eye-opening for the staff, Dr. Mishkel said.

“Even when you know you are providing the highest quality care, your documentation can lag behind the quality of work you are doing,” Dr. Mishkel said. “We recognize that the documentation of quality will be critical as we move forward in an increasingly demanding political, media and legal environment,” he added.

With a large and diverse group of physicians—including 7 EP specialists and 15 interventionalists—bringing everyone into compliance with documentation standards has been challenging, Dr. Mishkel said. However, the feedback from ACE reviewers has been instrumental in implementing a standardized process, he said. “Now we can approach some of the more contentious issues in an orderly fashion,” Dr. Mishkel said. Moreover, “we will be able to use our ACE accreditation as a springboard to motivate our cardiologists to comply with our new documentation standards,” Dr. Mishkel said.

Dr. Mishkel praised the professionalism of the ACE team. “Everyone involved in the ACE accreditation process demonstrated high integrity and a true understanding of what real-world cardiologists go through. In particular, I was impressed that the ACE leadership is actively involved with the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI). Many interventionalists, myself included, view SCAI as our governing body,” Dr. Mishkel said. “SCAI has been on the forefront of promoting the interests of our specialty.”

About Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE)

ACE is the global leader in accreditation and external quality review services for all catheter-based cardiovascular procedures. ACE, an independent organization sponsored by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) and the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF), offers independent evaluation and monitoring of facilities that provide cardiovascular care. By reviewing facility and operator performance and comparing clinical decision-making to nationally accepted best practices, ACE quality review and accreditation services play a critical role in continuous quality improvement programs. Join us. Let us exceed your expectations and provide a free consultation. Contact ACE at info(at)cvexcel(dot)org or call our office at 202.657.6859 or visit our website at

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Mary Heisler, RN, BA

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