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Memorial wins Gold Quality Achievement Award

by jmaloni
Thu, Dec 22nd 2011 07:05 am

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.

The recognition signifies the Memorial Medical Center and The Heart Center of Niagara have reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients 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 patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants while in the hospital. They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.

"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, Mass. "The goal of the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients. Published scientific studies are providing us with more and more evidence that Get With The Guidelines works. Patients are getting the right care they need when they need it. That's resulting in improved survival."

"Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and The Heart Center of Niagara are 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-Heart Failure program will help us accomplish this goal by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcome for these patients," Memorial President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo said.

Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure helps Niagara Falls Memorial'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.

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics also show that each year 670,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than 277,000 people will die of heart failure.

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