WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – St. Mary’s Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure (GWTG-HF) Initial Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that the hospital has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85% compliance to core standard levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.
Get With The GuidelinesSM is a quality improvement initiative that provides hospital staff tools that follow proven evidence-based guidelines and procedures for heart failure patients in their care to prevent future hospitalizations.
“St. Mary’s Medical Center is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country, and implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines - HF program will help us accomplish this by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcome for these patients,” said St. Mary’s Medical Center CEO Davide Carbone.
Under GWTG-HF, heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics, and anticoagulants in the hospital. They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling and referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged. St. Mary’s Medical Center has successfully implemented these quality measures for one quarter or 90-days.
“The full implementation of acute and secondary prevention guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives of heart failure patients,” said Gregg Fonarow, M.D., chairman of the GWTG Science Sub-Committee and director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. “The aim of the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like St. Mary’s Medical Center implement appropriate evidence-based guidelines for care and protocols that will reduce the number of deaths in these patients.”
According to the American Heart Association, about five million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics also show the incidence of heart failure has not declined in two decades and each year more than 52,000 people will die of heart failure.
GWTG-HF helps St. Mary’s staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes. The program includes quality-improvement measures such as care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders and measurement tools.
This quick and efficient use of guideline tools will enable the hospital to improve the quality of care it provides heart failure patients, save lives and, ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.
The heart failure module, developed with support from an unrestricted educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline, is being implemented in hospitals around the country. For more information on Get With The Guidelines, visit American Heart online.