HCA’s AFib & Heart Rhythm Centers Tampa Bay’s First To Be Certified

Afib Certification Seal

Tampa, FL– HCA West Florida has announced that five of its AFib & Heart Rhythm Centers have received a prestigious certification measuring their performance in treating the nation’s most common heart-rhythm problem.

The following hospitals recently earned full Atrial Fibrillation Certification status from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) – making them the first in the Tampa Bay area to be certified:

“This certification involves rigorous evaluation of every step along the continuum of care, to ensure we’ve implemented the latest in evidence-based best practices,” said Peter A. Marmerstein, FACHE, President of HCA West Florida. “Atrial fibrillation affects nearly 5 million Americans, and can increase the risk of stroke fivefold – so when the SCPC launched this program, we jumped at the chance to ensure we’re doing what we can to enhance quality of life for these patients.”

“AFib is a complex condition to treat,” said cardiac electrophysiologist John F. Norris, M.D. “By undergoing certification, we’re offering patients some uniformity in their care – and making sure it’s based on the latest guidelines and most advanced techniques.”

The certification was coordinated through the HCA West Florida Atrial Fibrillation Advisory Team, led by physicians Dr. John F. Norris, Dr. Robert C. Sheppard, Dr. Ronald Walsh and Dr. Luis R. Annoni.

The SCPC specialized certification is limited to facilities that demonstrate expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting a wide set of stringent criteria and undergoing a comprehensive review. Criteria include:

  • Emergency Department Integration with Emergency Medical Services
  • Emergency Assessment of Patients with Atrial Fibrillation
  • Risk Stratification of the Atrial Fibrillation Patient
  • Treatment for Patients Presenting to the Emergency Department in Atrial Fibrillation
  • Atrial Fibrillation Discharge Criteria from the Emergency Department, Observation Services, or Inpatient Stay
  • Atrial Fibrillation Patient and Community Education

September is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness month, and HCA West Florida’s AFib and Heart Rhythm Centers will be hosting a number of educational programs, including free seminars and guided tours of an electrophysiology lab. For more information or to sign up, visit http://www.hcawestflorida.com/AFib.

Participating in the certification process and community education initiatives is another component in HCA West Florida’s continuing efforts to enhance operations and offer quality patient care in all its hospitals. More than $136.8 million in renovations, infrastructure and technology improvements are underway at HCA West Florida hospitals throughout Tampa Bay.

“As the largest health system in the Tampa Bay area, we have a commitment to doing everything we can to make a positive impact on patient care. That’s always our goal,” said Marmerstein.