Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for Heart Failure for 2015

September 21, 2015 3:41 pm
AHA posed photo

Award ceremony from 2014 with the AHA: From left to right: Julie Lundvick, Bill Manns, Lisa Kinsey Callaway, MD, Kristy Todd and Kathie Thomas, from the AHA.

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Gold-Plus 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 patients with heart failure.

This marks the third consecutive year that Mercy Health Saint Mary’s has been recognized with a quality achievement award. In 2014, the organization has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients. In 2013, the hospital received a Silver Achievement Award.

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.

“Mercy Health Saint Mary’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 to accomplish this goal by tracking and measuring our success in meeting internationally-respected guidelines,” said Lisa Kinsey Callaway, MD, medical director of the Hospitalist program at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.

Mercy Health Saint Mary’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.  These would include 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.

“We are pleased to recognize Mercy Health Saint Mary’s for their commitment to heart failure care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, M.P.H., 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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