Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE) Cited in Cardiovascular Business Article

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Study Reveals Increased Use of Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) and Improved Patient Outcomes in ACE-Accredited Cardiac Catheterization Labs

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Use of fractional flow reserve is critically important for evaluating intermediate lesions and for guiding appropriate therapy in patients with coronary artery disease. -- Morton J. Kern, M.D.

Hospitals accredited by Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE) receive a call-out in a Cardiovascular Business article advocating increased utilization of FFR assessment in cardiac catheterization laboratories. Writing in the May/June issue, David Wohns, M.D., cites FFR as an important tool for improving long-term outcomes by reducing unnecessary stenting, which in turn reduces the costs of evaluating and treating patients with coronary artery disease.

In the article, Dr. Wohns, who is director of Cardiac Cath Labs and Interventional Cardiology at Spectrum Health and the Frederik Meijer Heart and Vascular Institute, and associate clinical professor of Medicine at Michigan State University in Grand Rapids, Mich., cites efforts by quality leadership organizations such as ACE and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) to encourage appropriate use of FFR. He specifically cites a study in which hospitals increased their use of FFR assessment in patients with intermediate coronary stenosis (ICS) after the facilities received ACE accreditation.

“Use of fractional flow reserve is critically important for evaluating intermediate lesions and for guiding appropriate therapy in patients with coronary artery disease,” noted Morton J. Kern, M.D., professor of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, and chief of Medicine at the VA Long Beach Health Care System in Long Beach, Calif. “The increased use of FFR in accredited cardiac catheterization labs cited in this article suggests that these facilities appreciate the value of this important assessment tool.”

The Cardiovascular Business article cites a study presented at the 2013 SCAI annual meeting in which ACE investigators reported on the effect of accreditation on hospital National Cardiovascular Data Registry cardiac catheterization and percutaneous coronary intervention (CathPCI) reports. At nine ACE-accredited facilities, the percentage of intermediate lesions (40-70% diameter stenosis) undergoing FFR assessment increased following accreditation, from 59.9 ± 19.6% at baseline to 64.4 ± 15.8% post-accreditation (p<0.0001).

The data show that facilities that undergo the process of accreditation utilize the precision, reproducibility, and cost-effectiveness of FFR in assessing the hemodynamic significance of angiographic lesions, and use FFR to determine selection of therapy when it is warranted, to avoid unnecessary intervention.

About Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence

ACE is the leader in and the only provider of accreditation for all catheter-based cardiovascular procedures. We have unique and proven experience in accrediting large hospital systems and peer-reviewed data on improving outcomes in cardiac catheterization laboratories. Accreditation is our business, we are an independent organization sponsored by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI). ACE quality review and accreditation services play a critical role in continuous quality improvement programs, structured reporting and documentation. Join us. Learn more at

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Mary Heisler, RN, BA

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