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UC Irvine Medical Center recognized for heart failure program
Date:12/16/2010

Orange, Calif., Dec.16, 2010 The American Heart Association has recognized UC Irvine Healthcare's commitment to the highest standards of care for heart failure patients.

The Get With The Guidelines Heart Failure Silver Plus Award signifies that UC Irvine Medical Center has achieved at least 85 percent compliance for one year with AHA-specified standards of care for heart failure patients.

The medical center's compliance rate was 96 percent. The "Plus" designation is for 75 percent or higher adherence to AHA-specified quality measures.

"UC Irvine is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country," said Dr. Dawn Lombardo, director of the hospital's heart failure program. "We will continue in our efforts and build off the success of this award by continued implementation of the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines Heart Failure program that allowed us to accomplish this goal."

According to the AHA, about 5.7 million people in the U.S. suffer from heart failure, or the inability of the heart to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the body's needs. More than 292,200 die of it annually.

Get With The Guidelines is a quality improvement aimed at reducing disability, future hospitalizations, healthcare costs and deaths. It includes care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders and measurement tools.

According to AHA treatment guidelines, heart failure patients should be started in the hospital on aggressive risk-reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants. Before being discharged, they also should receive counseling on alcohol/drug use and thyroid management as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation.

A 2009 study published in the American Heart Journal concluded that hospitals meeting these AHA guidelines had lower mortality rates.

In addition to partici
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Contact: John Murray
jdmurray@uci.edu
714-456-7759
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

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