SALT LAKE CITY, UT (8/4/2010) — LDS Hospital is the recipient of a prestigious national award for its treatment of heart failure patients.
The hospital is the recipient of the American Heart Association’s “Get With The Guidelines” Silver Award, which is given to hospitals that follow national heart failure guidelines 85 percent of the time for at least one year. LDS Hospital actually met guidelines approximately 99 percent of the time for a year.
“LDS Hospital should be very proud of this accomplishment, because it’s quite rare in Utah,” said Sara Camp, the regional director of quality improvement for the American Heart Association.
The Get With The Guidelines program, created by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, outlines evidence-based guidelines for treating heart failure patients to prevent future hospitalizations. The program calls for aggressive risk-reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants. Patients at AHA-recognized hospitals also receive counseling about alcohol/drug use and thyroid management, as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.
About 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics also show that each year more than 292,200 people will die of heart failure, according to the American Heart Association.
“It’s wonderful to receive recognition like this, but the underlying message is even more rewarding: We’re reducing disability and deaths among our heart failure patients. That’s terrific news,” said LDS Hospital administrator Mikelle Moore. “We’ll continue to follow these guidelines and next year I hope we’ll be receiving the Gold Award for two continuous years of excellent care. I’m very proud of our entire team; it takes a commitment from everyone on our staff to make this kind of high-quality treatment possible.”
The goal of the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals implement evidence-based care and protocols that will improve care for heart failure patients, said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, 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.
“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,” he said.
The Get With The Guidelines program includes quality-improvement measures such as care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders and measurement tools. The tools not only help save lives, but also reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.