Christiana Care earns American Heart Association Gold Plus award for heart failure care

Christiana Care earns American Heart Association Gold Plus award for heart failure care

AHA Get With the Guidelines Gold Heart Failure logoChristiana Care Health System has received the Get With The Guidelines® – Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that Christiana Care has reached and maintained an exceptional goal of treating patients who suffer from heart failure according to the guidelines of care recommended by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.

This marks the sixth consecutive year that Christiana Care has been recognized with a quality achievement award for the treatment of heart failure and the third consecutive year that the program has been recognized at the Gold level.

Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure helps Christiana Care’s staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides hospitals with a Web-based patient-management tool, best-practice discharge protocols and standing orders, a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.

The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for people with heart failure, save lives and ultimately reduce health care costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.

“Christiana Care is dedicated to making our care for people suffering from heart failure among the best in the country,” said Timothy J. Gardner, M.D., medical director of the Center for Heart & Vascular Health. “The American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure program helps us to accomplish this goal.”

“This quality-achievement award is the culmination of a tremendous team effort by all my colleagues within the Center for Heart & Vascular Health and throughout Christiana Care,” added Mitchell Saltzberg, M.D., medical director of the Heart Failure Program. “Our program continues to strive to do the right things for congestive heart failure patients to define our program as a regional and national center of excellence.”

“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, Mass.

Following Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure treatment guidelines, patients with heart failure 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.

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 people with heart failure can lead a full, enjoyable life if they manage their condition with proper medications and devices, and with healthy lifestyle changes.

The Center for Heart & Vascular Health is one of the most technologically advanced cardiovascular care centers in the United States. It has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for its treatment of stroke and, for the third consecutive year, a three-star rating for heart surgery, the highest available, from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The American Heart Association has recognized the Center for Heart & Vascular Health with Get With The Guidelines Awards for sustained quality achievement and exceeding national standards in the treatment heart attack, heart failure and stroke.