12/26/10 — WMH Rehab earns national certification

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WMH Rehab earns national certification

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 26, 2010 1:50 AM

The pulmonary rehabilitation program at Wayne Memorial Hospital has attained national certification status by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, which sets the gold standard for such programs.

The hospital's cardiac rehab program had previously earned the three-year certification in both 2006 and 2009.

Nearly 30 North Carolina hospitals have certification in one program, officials said, but only a dozen or so have it in both the cardiac and pulmonary areas.

Cardiac rehab is a medically supervised program for those with heart-related problems, while pulmonary rehab is more an exercise and education program for those with chronic lung conditions.

"It's much more disease management," explained Donna Peedin, supervisor of clinical operations for cardiac rehabilitation at the hospital. "They attend 36 sessions. That equates to 12 weeks, about the time it takes for a person to change a behavior."

The application process for the certification is quite detailed, Mrs. Peedin said. In addition to complying with national guidelines, criteria includes offering a well-rounded program, measuring outcomes and doing follow-ups with patients.

At the same time, seeking the certification is not a requirement.

"It's a choice, it's a voluntary participation program," Mrs. Peedin said. "I think eventually it will be linked to reimbursement (for the hospital) but it's not now."

The announcement provides a sense of pride for the hospital, but it also comes with responsibility to "raise the bar" for its quality of care, she said.

"You have got to make sure that you're continually meeting these guidelines, you're adhering to these on a continual basis," she said. "You know you're adhering to the gold standard for cardiac and pulmonary rehab (and) you're offering the best program that you feasibly can.

"It's a feather in your cap, of course, but there's more to it. The public knows you're nationally certified ... and can have reassurance that its getting the best care that they can in that program."