Wellmont CVA Heart Institute Receives Bridges To Excellence Award From National Organization

The Wellmont CVA Heart Institute has earned another national honor for its leadership in the delivery of high-quality cardiovascular care in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia

The heart institute, which operates 15 offices in the region and provides care at Wellmont Health System hospitals, has received the Bridges to Excellence award from the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute. The award recognizes cardiology practices that are committed to continuous quality improvement and safe, effective and patient-centered care.

The heart institute is the only entity in the region and one of only 23 in the nation to have received the Bridges to Excellence Cardiology Practice Recognition.

To achieve this recognition, the heart institute had to submit clinical, structural and professional data that are rigorously analyzed. This data showed, for example, how the heart institute handled medical issues such as hypertension, coronary artery disease and heart failure in an office setting.

Professionals evaluated items such as heart institute’s electronic medical records, use of accredited labs for noninvasive diagnostic imaging and quality improvement processes for cardiac catheterization procedures. Pursuit of certifications and continuing medical education were also considered.

This respected recognition program is endorsed by the American College of Cardiology.

“Cardiology practices that complete this program take steps to evaluate and improve almost every aspect of their work to ensure the best outcomes for their patients,” said Dr. John Harold, a medical doctor who is president of this national organization.

The cardiology practice recognition program has a threefold purpose:

Establish legitimate goals and targets for cardiovascular specialists and their practices to achieve in their clinical processes, operational infrastructure and professional development

Provide a road map to guide performance improvement

Bring consistency by standardizing the methodology for assessment and recognition of cardiovascular practices

Dr. Jerry Blackwell, a medical doctor and the heart institute’s president, said this latest recognition of the group, which has more than 45 physicians, is a result of relentless use of best practices to provide the best patient outcomes.

“We appreciate this honor because it demonstrates what happens every day behind the scenes to establish the foundation for excellence that is reflected in the care we deliver patients in our office and our hospitals,” said Dr. Blackwell, who serves as governor of the Tennessee chapter of the American College of Cardiology. “It’s a credit not only to our physicians but to the many other medical professionals and support personnel who work extremely hard to create the framework for success.”