Date of Award

Summer 8-2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Dr. Sandra Bishop

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Dr. Mary Coyne

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Dr. Katherine Nugent

Committee Member 3 Department



Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer of Americans, accounting for over 800,000 deaths in 2008. Improving a hospital’s performance by obtaining and maintaining The Joint Commission Disease-Specific Care Certification is one method of impacting acute coronary syndrome patient outcomes. The purpose of this capstone project was to provide consultation services to ready the cardiology division of a large community hospital in south Mississippi for the process of obtaining Joint Commission Disease-Specific Care Certification in the area of acute coronary syndrome. The activities of the consultation included facilitating an examination of the current organization of ACS patient care; reviewing core and performance measure data collected by the hospital for ACS patients; identifying variances in care and practice; and selecting performance measures to support the certification process. The consultation results included creating performance improvement plans to correct variances in care and practice; developing a more comprehensive staff, patient, and community education process; and addressing each component of The Joint Commission Disease-Specific Care Certification requirements and site review. The consultation was conducted with the Outcomes Coordinator of the study hospital’s cardiology division.