OLBH earns PCI accreditation


RUSSELL, Ky. — Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital (OLBH), a member of the Bon Secours Kentucky Health System, has received accreditation for its percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) services by Corazon, Inc., a national leader in services for the cardiovascular specialty.

PCI services at the OLBH Heart & Vascular Center allow the hospital’s heart and vascular professionals to do more than identify such blockages during a heart catheterization, but to reduce them through non-surgical techniques such as balloon angioplasty or coronary stenting. Accreditation of these services is a rigorous process with accreditation indicating OLBH has met or exceeded the requirements established by the Kentucky State Health Plan specific to the state’s therapeutic cardiac catheterization requirements, including 24 hour care coverage for heart attack patients, medical staff members meeting specific training requirements and skilled clinical staff availability in both the cardiac cath lab and post care units.

“In both men and women, heart disease remains the leading cause of death,” says Shelly Carrico, OLBH’s director of cardiovascular services. “It is why PCI services at OLBH are important in eliminating blockages when they are found. To have these services accredited is an important step as it shows OLBH is meeting or exceeding national standards for angioplasty and stenting.” As part of the accreditation, OLBH will undergo detailed quarterly quality reviews of outcomes and practices.

Balloon angioplasty is a procedure where a long, thin flexible tube called a catheter is used to reach the affected areas of the heart. Once the catheter reaches its destination, an attached balloon is inflated, flattening the blockage against the artery wall and improving the flow of blood. After deflating, the balloon is removed. Balloon angioplasty requires only a light sedation of patients for the procedure, after which most are discharged from the hospital within 24 hours or less.

Coronary stenting is a minimally-invasive way to address cardiovascular issues before they manifest as a major health event. During a coronary stenting a small, mesh-like tube is used to open blockages in the arteries and prevent them from narrowing again. A balloon-tipped catheter carrying the stent is inserted into the body, most often through the groin, and moved until it reaches the affected area of the heart. As the balloon is inflated the stent will lock into place and prop the artery open. The result is improved blood flow to and from the heart. Following the procedure, the inside lining of the artery grows over the stent’s metal surface within just a few weeks. Occasionally, stents will be coated with a medication that slowly releases into the bloodstream to help prevent the vessel from reclosing.

“Our Lady of Bellefonte has demonstrated through the accreditation survey that we are committed to providing the highest quality level of care to our patients,” says OLBH Vice President of Medical Affairs John Darnell, M.D., F.A.A.F.P. “This accreditation is due to the dedication, hard work, and exceptional leadership of our cardiac and vascular team.”

Corazon is a national leader in consulting, accreditation, recruitment, interim management and IT solutions for heart, vascular, neuroscience, spine and orthopedics specialties. Corazon. has worked with more than 500 hospitals nationally to evaluate, re-engineer, or implement best-practice PCI programs.