St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Honored with Bronze Quality Achievement Award for Heart Failure Care by the American Heart Association

BRIGHTON, MA – July 29, 2015 – St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, a teaching affiliate of Tufts University School of Medicine, has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Bronze Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation’s secondary prevention guidelines for the treatment of patients with heart failure.

Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure is a quality improvement program that helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients. Launched in 2005, numerous published studies have demonstrated the program’s success in achieving patient outcome improvements, including reductions in 30-day readmissions.

St. Elizabeth’s earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the patient, proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies including ACE inhibitors/ARBs, beta-blockers, diuretics, anticoagulants, and other appropriate therapies. Before patients are discharged, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“St. Elizabeth’s is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our heart failure patients, and implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure program helps us accomplish this goal by tracking and measuring our success in meeting internationally-respected clinical guidelines,” said Roger Mitty, MD, interim president, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center.

St. Elizabeth’s also received the association’s Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll. Target: Heart Failure is an initiative that provides hospitals with educational tools, prevention programs and treatment guidelines designed to reduce the risk of heart failure patients ending up back in the hospital. Hospitals are required to meet criteria that improves medication adherence, provides early follow-up care and coordination and enhances patient education. The goal is to reduce hospital readmissions and help patients improve their quality of life in managing this chronic condition.

“We are pleased to recognize St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center for their commitment to heart failure care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and also reduce disparity gaps in care.”

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million adults in the United States suffer from heart failure, with the number expected to rise to eight million by 2030. Statistics show that each year about 870,000 new cases are diagnosed and about 50 percent of those diagnosed will die within five years. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications or devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

 

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About St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center
St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center is a major academic medical center affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine.  Areas of medical excellence include vascular and endovascular surgery, cardiology, neurosciences, general and robotic surgery, bariatric surgery, women’s health, high-risk obstetrics, bone and joint health, hematology/oncology, pulmonary medicine and emergency medicine.  St. Elizabeth’s is a member of Steward Health Care, which is the second largest health care system in New England.  Visit St. Elizabeth’s online at www.semc.org.

 

About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines.  Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 5 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org/qualityor heart.org/QualityMap.

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