JCAHO clears Rush’s transplant program

Hospital Peer Review’s front page story in February (p. 17) covered Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, was scrutinizing the facility after the Wall Street Journal accorded the heart transplant unit there front-page status — the 15 minutes of fame no health care facility wants. Internal quality documents that were leaked to the paper disclosed that Rush staffers questioned practices concerning donor-heart matching, patient selection, and medical care.

An update on that story comes from Rush spokeswoman Denise Van, who says the Joint Commission is continuing the facility’s accreditation with no additional follow-up. In addition, the transplant program was found to be in full compliance with the Medicare Condition of Participation of Quality Assurance by the Health Care Financing Administration.

An article in the March 17, 1997, Wall Street Journal states that the number of cardiac transplants at Rush has dropped significantly in recent months. The facility has established an interdisciplinary quality assurance committee to monitor the medical care given to future transplant patients. The committee comprises representatives from the medical and surgical sides of the transplant program.