Joint Commission awards ventricular device certification to UAB Cardiovascular Institute

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Cardiovascular Institute has been awarded the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Ventricular Assist Device Destination Therapy program for the seventh time. Ventricular assist devices, or VADs, are implanted mechanical pumps that support heart function and blood flow in patients who have weakened hearts.

The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care. The certification recognizes UAB Hospital’s dedication to continuous compliance with the Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards.

UAB Hospital underwent an on-site review last August. A Joint Commission reviewer assessed the facility for care provided across pre-operative to post-operative care. UAB was evaluated in multiple areas, including its clinic, medical equipment management, outpatient management and preparation of the patient’s home community to care for a patient who receives a VAD.

“This rigorous review by the Joint Commission of the care we provide to our VAD patients validates that our processes provide the highest reliability of quality and safety for our patients,” said Peggy Blood, director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program. “This reassures our patients that we will navigate their complex care with compassion, expert knowledge and evidence-based best practices as they adjust to living with a VAD.”  

The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification in Ventricular Assist Device Destination Therapy, developed in response to Medicare requirements, provides standards for hospitals related to:

  • Staffing and facility infrastructure to support ventricular assist device placements.
  • Participation in a national, audited registry for patients who have received mechanically assisted circulatory support devices.
  • Volume requirements for board-certified cardiac surgeons who place ventricular assist devices.

The certification process became mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2009.

To learn more about the UAB Cardiovascular Institute and the services provided, visit

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