Baptist Health Paducah Commitment to Transcatheter Procedural Quality

March 12, 2021

By Dr. Martin Rains, Medical Director, Cardiovascular Services, Baptist Health Paducah

On behalf of the Baptist Health Cardiovascular Services team, I have exciting news to share! Baptist Health Paducah was recently awarded Transcatheter Valve Certification by the American College of Cardiology, the premier cardiovascular accreditation organization. Baptist Health Paducah becomes the third site in the state and the first, and only, site in the Purchase Region to receive this honor.

This honor is not just handed out, but reflects hard work, effort and commitment to quality by the Baptist Health Paducah team to assure we offer the region world class care right here at home. However, what does it mean to the average healthcare consumer?

Historically, the ability to treat certain critical, debilitating and life-shortening cardiovascular diseases required invasive open-heart surgery, which has long recovery and increased risk of complications and mortality, especially in individuals of advanced age or co-morbidities. In the past decade, newer non-invasive options have developed which allow for quick recovery and reduced risk of mortality.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is one of these options. TAVR is a minimally invasive way to replace a severely narrowed heart valve without traditional heart surgery.  It’s not the right answer for everyone, which is why you need to seek a center with a qualified team to decide which procedure is best for you.  You need a team working for you. Our team consists of structural cardiologists and heart (cardiothoracic) surgeons. Together, we meld the best of both disciplines to consider each patient and, as a team, recommend if the better approach is the more traditional open-heart valve replacement, or perhaps, TAVR.   

Before we began TAVR in October 2019, preparation spanned several years. The hospital had to have aptly trained physicians, and an equally qualified full team of support staff. Then, it had to meet stringent requirements set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal government agency that regulates much of healthcare, to show our expertise.

The American College of Cardiology’s accreditation and certification process is designed to provide transparency, assure critical infrastructural components are met, and assure hospitals and health-systems are continually working to improve cardiovascular care. In this case, the organization reviewed transcatheter procedural care, processes and patient outcomes. ACC’s Transcatheter Valve Certification is an external review process that assures hospitals are meeting standards for multidisciplinary teams, formalized training, shared decision-making, programmatically criteria and registry performance. The process combines evidence-bases science, quality initiatives, clinical guidelines and best practices to help reduce variations of care and optimize outcomes.

Furthermore, as an added benefit beyond ACC certification, every member of our team is invested in this community, having grown up here and/or practiced here more than 10 years. Drs. Nick Lopez and Austin Ward, CT surgeons, and Dr. Michael Faulkner and I, cardiologists, care about the patients of this area, and we are going to be here far into the future making sure you get top-notch care. 

We hope the community can celebrate with us regarding this honor and know Baptist Health Paducah is the place for outstanding, certified transcatheter valve care.