The recognition signifies that Christiana Care has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with at least 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.
“Christiana Care is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country,” said Timothy J. Gardner, M.D., medical director of the Center for Heart & Vascular Health and past president of the American Heart Association. “Implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure program helps us accomplish this goal by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcome for these patients.”
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 while in the hospital. They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.
Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure helps Christiana Care’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 enables Christiana Care to improve the quality of care it provides heart failure patients, and ultimately, save lives,” says Mitchell Saltzberg, M.D., medical director of the Heart Failure program.
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.
Christiana Care’s Center for Heart & Vascular Health is one of the most technologically advanced cardiovascular care centers in the United States. In 2010 it earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for its treatment of stroke and a three-star rating for heart surgery, the highest available, from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.