Virtua Electrophysiology Laboratory is First in New Jersey to Achieve American College of Cardiology Accreditation

Camden-based lab earns recognition for quality and patient outcomes

Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital recently became the first hospital in New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia region to receive accreditation from the American College of Cardiology for its electrophysiology laboratory. The hospital received accreditation based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with irregular heart rhythms, called arrhythmias.

The electrophysiology (EP) lab employs treatments such as implantable heart monitors, pacemakers, and cardioverter defibrillators. The lab also offers cardiac ablation, a procedure in which a physician targets and eliminates problematic heart muscle cells that produce abnormal rhythms. All cardiac ablations within the Virtua Health system are performed at Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. 

“Virtua Health has demonstrated its commitment to providing South Jersey with excellent heart care,” said Phillip D. Levy, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board. “ACC Accreditation Services is proud to award Virtua with Electrophysiology Accreditation.”

To receive this honor, hospitals must take part in a multi-faceted clinical process that involves: completing a gap analysis; examining variances of care; developing an action plan; participating in a rigorous onsite review; and monitoring for sustained success. Improved methods and strategies of caring for patients include streamlining processes, implementing guidelines and standards, and adopting best practices in the precise care of EP lab patients.

Facilities that achieve accreditation meet or exceed an array of stringent criteria and have organized a team of doctors, nurses, clinicians, and administrative staff that earnestly support the efforts leading to better patient education, improved patient outcomes, and more effective and efficient disease control.

“Our electrophysiology labs have long been a source of pride in our cardiac program, recognized nationally for excellence in care,” said Hans Bauer, MD, FACC, FSCAI, CPE, chief of cardiology and chair of the department of medicine at Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. “We offer the full range of arrhythmia management using the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. I am proud of my colleagues for achieving this significant accreditation,” Dr. Bauer said.

“Our electrophysiologists are among the leaders in the field, adopting the most advanced devices and procedures to improve the lives of our patients. Examples include hybrid ablation for persistent atrial fibrillation, the Watchman device for stroke prevention without the need for blood thinners, the Micra leadless pacing system, and the newest generation of pacemakers, defibrillators, and monitors,” said Darius Sholevar, MD, FACC, FHRS, chief of electrophysiology at Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. “If you need top cardiac care, you come here.”