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Published on July 23, 2010

Abington Memorial Hospital Earns Designation as Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care®

ABINGTON, PA (July 23, 2010) — As one of the region's leaders in cardiac care, Abington Memorial Hospital is proud to earn the designation of Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care® by Independence Blue Cross.

Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care demonstrate their commitment to quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for cardiac patients. Abington Memorial Hospital meets evidence-based clinical criteria, developed in collaboration with expert physicians and medical organizations, including the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), and is subject to periodic re-evaluation as criteria continues to evolve.*

"This designation recognizes the dedicated team approach and long-term experience of the many cardiac specialists and advanced medical professionals involved in providing advanced cardiovascular care through Abington's Pilla Heart Center," said Mauricio J. Garrido, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon and acting chief, Cardiac Surgery. "This includes establishing one of the region's first open-heart programs more than a decade ago, breakthroughs and firsts in complex valve surgery, as well as leading-edge interventional treatments for atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure."

Abington Memorial Hospital is one of the region's busiest cardiovascular centers, with patients coming from across the region and beyond. Also, it has the only Level II Emergency Trauma Center in Montgomery County, providing emergency diagnostic and therapeutic treatment to victims of heart attack. Abington ranks above the national average for restoring blood flow to the heart within 90 minutes of the patient arriving at the hospital with a heart attack (also known as "door-to-balloon" time for diagnostic and/or therapeutic angioplasty).

Abington Memorial Hospital provides a full range of cardiac care services, including inpatient cardiac care, cardiac rehabilitation, cardiac catheterization and cardiac surgery (including coronary artery bypass graft surgery and/or valve surgery).

"Blue Distinction puts a high value on research and evidence-based health and medical information," says Allan Korn, M.D., chief medical officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. "Blue Distinction Centers show our commitment to working with doctors and hospitals in the communities across the country to identify leading institutions that meet clinically validated quality standards and deliver better overall outcomes in patient care."

To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care, Abington Memorial Hospital met the selection criteria posted at, which includes:

  • an established cardiac care program, performing required volumes for certain procedures (e.g. a minimum of 125 cardiac surgical procedures annually, including both CABG and/or valve surgery)
  • appropriate experience of its cardiac team, including sub-specialty board certification for interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons
  • an established acute care inpatient facility, including intensive care, emergency care, and a full range of cardiac services
  • full facility accreditation by a CMS-deemed national accreditation organization
  • low overall complication and mortality rates
  • a comprehensive quality management program

Blue Distinction is a designation awarded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality healthcare. The designation is based on rigorous, evidence-based selection criteria established in collaboration with expert physicians' and medical organizations' recommendations. Today, more than 1,600 Blue Distinction Center designations have been awarded to facilities nationwide, providing consumers with a framework for making informed decisions on where to go for specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacement, spine surgery and transplants.

*These organizations have provided information and input, but do not formally endorse the Blue Distinction Centers program.

About Abington Memorial Hospital

Abington Memorial Hospital is a 665-bed, acute care teaching hospital with a medical staff of more than 900 physicians and 5,700 employees. These professionals provide medical care and health services to residents of Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

A regional provider, Abington Memorial Hospital has the only Level II accredited trauma center in Montgomery County and offers highly specialized services in cardiac care, cancer care, neurosciences, orthopaedics and maternal/child health.

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