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Published on September 22, 2006

Abington Memorial Hospital Achieves Distinction for Cardiac Care

ABINGTON, PA (September 22, 2006) - Abington Memorial Hospital has achieved status as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care(SM). Blue Distinction is a nationwide program of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA). Blue Distinction was created to give consumers more information to make informed health care decisions and to work with health care providers to improve health care quality outcomes and affordability. Blue Distinction identifies specialty centers all across the nation that offer the best practices and standards of cardiac care.

Hospitals had to apply to achieve Blue Distinction Center status. The selection process used administrative and clinical data supplied by hospitals. Each facility's structure, processes and care outcomes were rigorously evaluated. The criteria for designation include nationally endorsed quality measures, developed in collaboration with medical experts and professional organizations.  Area hospitals chosen are a part of Independence Blue Cross' broad network of providers who offer high-quality cardiac care, among other services.  Independence Blue Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania is a licensed member of BCBSA. According to I. Steven Udvarhelyi, chief medical officer at Independence Blue Cross, "The Blue Distinction program highlights for our members those hospitals with a strong track record of success in cardiac care."

The criteria for becoming a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care(SM) include:

  • Full-service, accredited inpatient hospital facility;
  • Program must be performing a minimum required volume of cardiac catheterization related procedures and coronary artery bypass graft surgeries and provide a full range of services including inpatient cardiac care and cardiac rehabilitation;
  • Sub-specialty board certification of the cardiac team;
  • Ongoing quality management and improvement programs; and
  • Cardiac care processes and outcomes for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, cardiac catheterization related procedures and coronary artery bypass graft surgery including evaluation of complication and mortality rates.

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