The Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit, University Hospitals Leuven (Belgium), recently received EAPC Accreditation for secondary prevention and cardiac rehabilitation. The scientific head of the unit, Professor Véronique Cornelissen, provides her experience of the new scheme:
“It is so important that every single patient has access to, and receives, good-quality multidisciplinary cardiac rehabilitation – it’s a Class IA recommendation – but unfortunately, we know this is not the case in all centres and in every country.
We applied for accreditation to ensure that our centre is meeting the standards of good care required by the international recommendations – it provides a quality check. It’s recognition of the quality of your centre’s infrastructure, facilities and, most of all, the care that your multidisciplinary team is providing to patients on a daily basis.
We found that the process is straightforward and quick
You apply via the EAPC webpage, where you are asked to answer questions about the composition of your team, their qualifications, their training, your infrastructure and equipment, and the organisation of care – most are tick-box questions that do not require long answers. You also have to upload protocols of care. If you have a good-quality cardiac rehabilitation programme already in place, then the answers to the questions and the documents needed will be readily available.
Once you have applied, you get prompt confirmation that the process has started and, after only two months, you find out if you have been successful. When your centre is formally accredited, this can be mentioned on institutional websites and materials – then patients know that it’s a centre they can really trust.”