Welcome to CME on ReachMD. This episode is part of our MinuteCME curriculum.
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The Importance of Referring the PAH-ACHD Patient to an Accredited Specialty Center. So why is accreditation of ACHD programs important? First of all, it ensures a minimum standard of care for a very complicated patient population. We want a fluid process with continuous feedback. It helps identify various specialists and institutions and ensures their participation and care provision. This makes sure that patients that have complex issues are seen by physicians familiar with their problems. It helps identify gaps in programs and opportunities to improve provision of care. It helps empower patients to select, participate in, and influence their own care. There are currently 47 ACHA/ACHD accredited centers in 28 different states in a combination of both adult and pediatric hospitals. I've had the great pleasure, actually, of working on this committee, and I can tell you it's a very important process that the ACHA is involved in to ensure that complex patients get appropriate care.
There are a variety of criteria that are used, 20 different categories. You can see pulmonary arterial hypertension is one of those categories. These patients have unique characteristics that need to be looked at and managed, not only with regard to heart issues, you can see all the variety of specialists that are often involved in the care of an ACHD patient. There's a plethora of innovative ways that programs have met patient needs and serve the community. The Steering Committee meets regularly, which again, I've had the opportunity to participate in. It's a very important process that we're involved in, and providers at centers who may not be able to become accredited can still use this criteria to elevate their level of care at their individual institutions, and also it helps them to identify where to send patients when they need advanced specialty care.
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