ACHA ACHD Accreditation Found to Improve Patient Survival While Waiting for Heart Transplant

Posted Tuesday, Jan 07, 2020

ACHA ACHD Program Accreditation continues to develop and grow with 34 fully accredited programs and several more initiating and completing the process. Programs of all sizes—with widespread geographic locations and various care models—have met the criteria to become fully accredited. The ACHA Accreditation Program was designed and developed by providers and patients to meet the needs of the ACHD patient population and improve the quality of care delivered throughout the United States.  

Recently, an exciting article was published (click here for abstract) by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) and is the first data-driven article to further signify the importance of ACHA ACHD Program Accreditation to patient care.  

In the article entitled “Improved Outcomes of Heart Transplantation in Adults with Congenital Heart Disease Receiving Regionalized Care,” VP Nguyen and colleagues from the University of Washington in Seattle describe factors leading to improved pre- and post-heart transplant mortality. 

The authors studied ACHD heart transplantation listed through UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) from 2000-2018. They found 1,746 patients were listed for a heart transplant and 1,006 were transplanted. They looked at several factors related to waitlist (pre-transplant on the waiting list) and post-transplant mortality. 

The most powerful factor predicting the lowest pre-transplant ​mortality was being listed at an ACHA ACHD Accredited site. This was more powerful than a center’s overall transplant volume or high volume vs low volume heart transplant center. 

This result would indicate it is the comprehensive, expert ACHD care the patient receives at an ACHA ACHD Accredited site that improves survival waiting for a heart transplant.

We are confident that in the coming years, data-driven initiatives and studies will show further evidence of the importance of ACHA ACHD Accreditation to patient care. We also plan to extend the care model to local care and develop a network within ACHA Accreditation to improve access to high-quality ACHD care.