The Joint Commission Awards SNCH Gold Seal for Heart Failure Care
For Immediate Release
Damian Becker, Manager of Media Relations
February 18, 2014
The Joint Commission Awards SNCH
Gold Seal for Heart Failure Care
Photo Caption: South Nassau cardiologist Jason Freeman, MD, FACC, FSCAI, performs an interventional
Oceanside, NY – South Nassau Communities Hospital has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of
Approval® for its heart failure program by demonstrating compliance with the Commission’s national standards
for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care. The Gold Seal of Approval recognizes South
Nassau’s dedication to continuous compliance with the Commission’s state-of-the- art standards.
To earn the award, South Nassau underwent a rigorous on-site review by a Joint Commission expert
who evaluated the hospital for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients and families.
The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification Program is designed to evaluate clinical
programs across the continuum of care. Certification requirements address three core areas: compliance with
consensus-based national standards; effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and
optimize care; and an organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities. The Joint
Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United
States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health
care organizations that provide long-term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services.
In addition to the Gold Seal of Approval, South Nassau is accredited by the Intersocietal Commission
for Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL) and is a recipient of the Aetna Institute of Quality
(IOQ) for interventional cardiology and rhythm disease diagnosis and treatment as well as the American
College of Cardiology (ACC) Foundation’s National Cardiology Data Registry (NCDR) ACTION Registry–Get
With the Guidelines (GWTG) Silver Performance Achievement Award.
The Gold Seal of Approval joins a multitude of other honors that South Nassau has earned in 2013 for
outstanding quality, including: Joint Commission Top Performer, American College of Surgeons Commission
on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award; Joint Commission Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke
Centers; American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold
Plus Quality Achievement Award; HomeCare Elite™ listing South Nassau’s Home Care as one of the top home
health care providers in the United States (for the eighth consecutive year); Joint Commission Gold Seal of
Approval® for Heart Failure; and Joint Commission Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers.
South Nassau’s Center for Cardiovascular Health performs a wide range of coronary and peripheral
interventional procedures. The center averages a “door-to-balloon-time” of approximately 62 minutes, which is
28 minutes faster than the national standard door-to-balloon time benchmark of 90 minutes. (Door-to-balloon
time is the time measured in minutes from the moment the patient walks in the door to the point the artery in the
heart is re-opened with a stent.)
Electrophysiologists at the center use advanced technologies to provide timely, accurate diagnoses and
therapies to treat a range of cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). Services include diagnostic studies,
implantation and testing of pacemakers and cardioverter defibrillators, and radio-frequency catheter ablation for
the treatment of potentially fatal irregular heartbeats.
The center’s clinical and non-invasive cardiologists specialize in trans-thoracic echocardiogram (a noninvasive, highly accurate and quick assessment of the overall health of the heart, in which a probe is placed on
the chest wall of the patient to produce images of the heart); transesophageal echocardiogram (which uses a
specialized probe containing an ultrasound transducer at its tip that is passed into the esophagus and is used to
provide clear views of areas of the heart that would be difficult to view transthoracically); and stress
echocardiogram (which involves exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle while the patient is monitored
by technology using high-frequency sound waves that produces a graphic outline of the heart's movement,
valves, and chambers).
Additional cardiac imaging services offered by the center include nuclear cardiology (which generates
images of the heart at work, during exercise, and at rest) and diagnostic peripheral vascular ultrasound
(noninvasive diagnostic technique used to evaluate the health of blood vessels) for patients with peripheral
South Nassau® Communities Hospital is one of the region’s largest hospitals, with 435 beds, more than
900 physicians and 3,000 employees. Located in Oceanside, NY, the hospital is an acute-care, not-for-profit
teaching hospital that provides state-of-the-art care in cardiac, oncologic, orthopedic, bariatric, pain
management, mental health and emergency services. In addition to its extensive outpatient specialty centers,
South Nassau provides emergency and elective angioplasty and is the only hospital on Long Island with the
Novalis Tx™ and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technologies. South Nassau is a designated Stroke Center by
the New York State Department of Health and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the American
College of Surgeons and is an accredited center of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Association and Quality
Improvement Program. For more information, visit www.southnassau.org.
# # #