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University Hospitals Case Medical Center recognized by American Heart Association

CLEVELAND University Hospitals Case Medical Center has been recognized for its achievement in implementing the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The GuidelinesSM for coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke.

University Hospitals Case Medical Center (UHCMC) has received the Get With The Guidelines Gold Performance Achievement Award in coronary artery disease, Silver Performance Achievement Award in heart failure, and Bronze Performance Achievement Award for stroke. This level of achievement shows UHCMC's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart disease and stroke patients.

Get With The Guidelines helps ensure that patients treated and discharged receive quality care in accordance with guidelines that will reduce the risk of secondary events. It takes advantage of the "teachable moment," the time soon after a heart attack or stroke, when patients are most likely to listen to their healthcare professionals' treatment recommendations. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke.

This accomplishment signifies that UHCMC has reached an aggressive goal of treating coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure patients with 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines and recommendations.

According to GWTG treatment guidelines, patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants in the hospital, or in the case of stroke, they may receive tPA, antithrombotics and DVT prophylaxis. They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.

UHCMC has consistently and successfully implemented these quality measures for four years coronary artery disease, 12 consecutive months in heart failure, and 90 days in stroke since it began participating in the program.

"The full implementation of acute and secondary prevention guideline recommended therapy is a critical step in reducing death and disability of cardiovascular disease patients," said Gregg C Fonarow, M.D., National Chairman of the GWTG Steering Committee and Director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. "The goal of the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like University Hospitals Case Medical Center implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce the number of deaths in these patients and in their communities. University Hospitals has achieved a high level of performance in terms of implementing these life-prolonging treatments."

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, each year approximately 300,000 people suffer a recurrent heart attack, 5.2 million people suffer from heart failure and 700,000 people suffer a stroke. "University Hospitals Case Medical Center is dedicated to making our care for heart disease and stroke patients among the best in the country. We will continue in our efforts to build off the success achieved with continued implementation of this valuable program," said Nathan Levitan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at University Hospitals. "Get With The Guidelines makes it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcomes of our cardiac and stroke patients, and we are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements."

UHCMC'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 UHCMC to improve the quality of care it provides heart disease and stroke patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering recurrence of events.


Contact: George Stamatis
University Hospitals of Cleveland

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