Valley Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure Gold Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies Valley has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85 percent compliance for at least 24 months to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.
Get With The Guidelines is a quality improvement initiative that provides hospital staff with tools that follow proven evidence-based guidelines and procedures in caring for heart failure patients to prevent future hospitalizations.
Under Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure, 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 as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged. VMC has successfully implemented these quality measures for 12 months of consecutive performance.
“The full implementation of national heart failure guideline recommended care is a critical step in preventing recurrent hospitalizations and prolonging the lives of heart failure patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “The goal of the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like Valley Medical Center implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients.”
According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics also show each year more than 292,200 people will die of heart failure.
Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure helps Valley Medical Center’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 Valley to improve the quality of care it provides heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce health care costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.