Christiana Care earns two gold awards and one bronze in heart and stroke care

Christiana Care earns two gold awards and one bronze in heart and stroke care

Timothy Gardner, M.D.Christiana Care Health System’s Center for Heart & Vascular Health is exceeding national standards in the treatment heart attacks, heart failure and strokes.

Christiana Care received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines Gold Performance Achievement Award for Heart Attack and Heart Failure. Both awards recognize that Christiana Care reached an aggressive goal of treating patients with 85 percent compliance for at least 24 months to core standard levels of care as outlined by the AHA/American College of Cardiology.

In addition, Christiana Care received the American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Stroke Bronze Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes the organization’s success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care for at least 90 days, according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

Christiana Care also was recently awarded the Gold Seal of Approval ™ from the Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers. This distinction was earned through meticulous documentation and a rigorous on-site review, demonstrating that Christiana Care’s program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients.

Get With The Guidelines is a quality-improvement initiative that provides hospital staff with core standards developed from evidence-based guidelines for treating patients and preventing future hospitalizations.

Get With The Guidelines standards for heart attack and heart failure ensure that patients immediately receive risk-reduction therapies and medication. Patients also may receive counseling for smoking cessation, alcohol or drug use and for thyroid or weight management, as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation.

“Christiana Care is dedicated to making our care for heart and stroke patients among the best in the country,” said Timothy Gardner, M.D., medical director and past president of the American Heart Association. “Implementing the Get With The Guidelines programs helps us accomplish this goal by making it easier to improve the long-term outcome for these patients.

“Get With The Guidelines programs help our staff develop and implement prevention guideline processes,” Dr. Gardner added. “The programs include quality-improvement measures such as care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders and measurement tools. The quick and efficient use of guideline tools enables Christiana Care to improve the quality of care we provide, save lives and ultimately reduce health care costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks and strokes.”

“The American Heart Association applauds Christiana Care for its success in implementing the appropriate evidence-based care and protocols to reduce the number of recurrent events and deaths in cardiovascular disease patients,” said Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. “Christiana Care has achieved a high level of performance in terms of implementing these life-prolonging treatments.”

According to AHA, each year approximately 610,000 people suffer a new heart attack and 325,000 experience a recurrent heart attack. About 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure. Additionally, coronary artery disease causes one in five deaths in the U.S.

Each year, approximately 700,000 people suffer a stroke, according to the American Stroke Association. Of stroke survivors, 21 percent of men and 24 percent of women die within a year. For those aged 65 and older, the percentage is even higher.

Photo gallery: Christiana Care Earns Three American Heart Association Awards

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