RWJBH-Hamilton approved to perform nonemergent angioplasties

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital-Hamilton has secured approval from the New Jersey Department of Health to perform elective, or nonemergent, angioplasty procedures, the hospital announced.

The effort to gain the approval came as part of a systemwide initiative by RWJBarnabas Health to increase access to a comprehensive range of essential cardiac care for residents throughout the state.

This access, however, is more than that. It has the potential to save lives. The approval will enable residents of Mercer County and central New Jersey to receive premier quality elective cardiac procedures in a comfortable setting close to home, allowing patients’ primary care physicians and cardiologists to participate in care decisions and improve outcomes.

RWJBarnabas Health performs more elective and emergent angioplasty procedures than any other health care system in the state and, although RWJUH Hamilton has been performing angioplasties for years on an emergency basis, the recent approval to perform elective angioplasties comes following Gov. Phil Murphy’s recent approval of legislation expanding access to elective angioplasties.

Dr. Edward Wingfield, chairman of the Department of Cardiology and president of the medical staff at RWJUH-Hamilton, said the access will have impact.

“The approval to perform elective angioplasties increases our ability to continue to provide the highest level of care to our community,” he said.

An angioplasty procedure, sometimes referred to as Percutaneous Coronary Interventions, is a minimally invasive technique used to open blocked arteries that deliver blood to the heart. An interventional cardiologist uses PCI to treat blocked vessels by threading a catheter through an artery in a patient’s wrist (radial artery) or upper leg (femoral artery).

Prior to the bill, RWJUH-Hamilton could only perform emergent angioplasties for patients experiencing the most critical type of heart attack. Other patients were often required to undergo two separate procedures at two different facilities for diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Mahmoud Ghusson, another cardiologist at RWJUH-Hamilton, said the approval is good for all.

“Offering lifesaving cardiac services from our multidisciplinary cardiovascular experts close to home provides better, faster, safer and more convenient care for patients in our community,” he said. “With the expertise and resources offered at RWJUH-Hamilton, we’re continuously stepping forward in providing advanced cardiac care that’s good for patients and good for the community.”