The UNC Pulmonary Hypertension Program has been awarded accreditation as a Pulmonary Hypertension Comprehensive Care Center by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA), the nation’s leading pulmonary hypertension organization. It is the only facility in North Carolina to achieve the PHA designation.
According to UNC, the accreditation process to about six months to complete and included a site review conducted by an expert pulmonary hypertension physician and coordinator, as well as a detailed analysis of the UNC program by a committee of global leaders in the field of pulmonary hypertension.
UNC has been accredited as a Center of Comprehensive Care, which H. James Ford, MD, director of the UNC Pulmonary Hypertension program, said is the more rigorous, and will continue to raise the profile of UNC’s program.
As a Center of Comprehensive Care, UNC will be linked to other accredited facilities in an effort to increase collaboration in the pulmonary hypertension community through clinical, quality improvement and investigative partnerships. UNC will contribute to a national registry of Pulmonary Hypertension patients, tracking diagnostic and treatment patterns in an effort to improve quality care.
Pulmonary hypertension is a rare and debilitating disease of the lungs that affects the functioning of the heart and can lead to right-sided heart failure. Due to the relative rarity of the condition, the timeframe from the onset of symptoms to diagnosis is typically more than a year, with many patients developing advanced symptoms by the time they receive an accurate diagnosis.
As part of the PHA accreditation criteria, medical centers must be able display a dedication to proper diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension and the capacity to appropriately and comprehensively care for patients, including offering all 12 FDA-approved treatments for the disease.
“We are committed to providing the highest quality, comprehensive care to our patients and so it is incredibly rewarding to be recognized with this accreditation,” Ford said.