NMH Receives National Recognition For Heart Failure
August 4, 2010
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NEWTON – Newton Memorial Hospital has received the Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure Bronze Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.
The recognition signifies that Newton Memorial Hospital has reached an aggressive goal of treating congestive heart failure patients for at least 90 days with an 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.
“This has been a multi-disciplinary effort hospital wide and many employees from our clinical departments deserve credit for helping us achieve this distinction,” said Barbara Reed, Manager of Quality Resources. “Our goal now is to receive the Gold Award next year to continue Newton Memorial’s tradition of providing quality care to the residents of the community.”
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. According to Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure treatment guidelines, heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants in the hospital.
“The full implementation of national heart failure guideline recommended care is a critical step in preventing recurrent hospitalizations and prolonging the lives of heart failure patients,” said Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., National Chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. “The goal of the American Heart Association’s program is to help hospitals like Newton Memorial implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients.”
Newton Memorial Hospital submitted baseline data from the 3rd quarter of 2009 and then followed up with 4th quarter data, which AHA used as consideration for the Bronze Award.
Specifically, 100 percent of Newton Memorial’s CHF patients went home in the fourth quarter knowing their activity level, appropriate diet guidelines, when to follow up with their primary care physicians, the medications they were on as well as dosage and frequency information, which symptoms should warrant a call to a physician and education on weight monitoring.
In addition, 100 percent of the Hospital’s CHF patients had their left ventricular function assessed and received smoking cessation counseling.
According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics also show each year more than 292,200 people will die of heart failure.
“Newton Memorial is dedicated to making care for heart failure patients among the best in the country, and implementing this program will help us accomplish this by making it easier for our clinicians and other staff to improve the long-term outcome of these patients,” said Gail Tannenhaus, Director of Organizational Excellence.
The Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure helps Newton Memorial’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 will enable Newton Memorial to improve the quality of care it provides heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.