National Organization Recognizes Lutheran for the Care it Provides to Patients with Heart Failure

Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium Names Hospital Eighth Heart Failure Institute in the US

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Oct. 29, 2009) — Lutheran Hospital has joined a select number of facilities across the country that have been recognized for the care they provide to patients with heart failure. The Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium announced today that Lutheran has become the eighth accredited heart failure institute in the United States.

Heart failure has no cure, but quality of life for patients with this chronic and progressive condition can be improved when a wide variety of options are made available across the entire continuum of care. Starting with the relationship between the patient and caregiver, accredited heart failure institutes must meet specific milestones that address various aspects of inpatient and outpatient care.

"Although the process to become an accredited heart failure institute is relatively new, Lutheran Hospital has been laying the foundation for decades," said Tony Joseph, MD, president of the Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium. "In addition to providing heart transplant services, Lutheran's heart failure program is so strong that they attract substantial research even though they have the 'feel' of a community hospital. This means that Lutheran's patients have access to treatments generally reserved for larger academic facilities."

The Colloquium's novel approach requires ongoing work to maintain accreditation. Unlike other accreditations and verifications that typically last between three and five years, heart failure institutes are evaluated by the Colloquium annually.

"This accreditation says a lot about what we've been able to accomplish in the past for heart failure patients, but it is also a call to action," said cardiologist Mark Jones, MD, heart failure physician champion, Lutheran Hospital. "The Colloquium demands that we continue to improve. That is a philosophy we have always chosen to embrace."

Hospitals that seek accreditation through the Colloquium work together with a common goal, to improve heart failure care. A true spirit of collaboration helps each facility benefit by:

  • Sharing of best practices
  • Implementing a heart failure leadership team
  • Applying proven process-improvement methods

"Lutheran is committed to providing world class heart care, and we have demonstrated that again by meeting the high standards established by the Colloquium," said Joe Dorko, chief executive officer, Lutheran Hospital. "Lutheran is the region's only certified transplant center, and we were its first accredited chest pain center. Now we are one of only eight heart failure institutes in the country. We are proud of the fact that all of these are examples of independent organizations validating the hard work done on behalf of our patients."

A major element of the evaluation process involves a visit from a review team that spends time on site at the member hospital and establishes the basis for granting accreditation. Elaine Greer, RN, MN, CCRN, is an advanced practice nurse at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., and a member of the team that visited Lutheran in September.

"Lutheran is an impressive organization committed to its patients and community," said Greer. "As a site reviewer for the Colloquium, it was a pleasure to work with such a dedicated group of professionals."

Lutheran is the second hospital in the state of Indiana to be accredited as a heart failure institute. Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis was the first.

To learn more about the Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium, contact Dr. Joseph at
(614) 545-3828 ext. 114 or visit

About the Lutheran Heart Center
At Lutheran Hospital, every month is heart month. Whether it's offering advanced surgical- and catheter-based options for the treatment of atrial fibrillation or providing the region's only heart transplant program, Lutheran is driven to deliver unsurpassed heart care year-round. Even before it established the region's first coronary care unit in 1967, Lutheran was keenly aware of the special needs of heart patients and their families. Through periods of exciting change, Lutheran has continued to build relationships with local physicians and medical professionals who share a passion for providing patients with the knowledge, skill and technology needed to remain on the cutting edge of heart care.

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