DeGraff Memorial Hospital has received the 2012 Get With The Guidelines - Heart Failure Silver Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.
The award demonstrates DeGraff's commitment to quality care for heart failure patients and signifies that DeGraff has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients according to the guidelines of care recommended by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.
"Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines - Heart Failure program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes," 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. "DeGraff's team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients."
Following Get With The Guidelines - Heart Failure treatment guidelines, heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies if needed, including cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants while in the hospital. Before discharge, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, including lifestyle modifications and follow-up care. Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards.
"DeGraff Memorial Hospital is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country. The American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines - Heart Failure program helps us to accomplish this goal," said Mary Brown, director of nursing. "This recognition demonstrates that we are on the right track and we're very proud of our team."
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. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications and devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.