Sierra Vista Receives Two American Heart Association Awards 
Ron Yukelson 
Thursday, 10 June 2010 
 
 

Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center has received the Get With The GuidelinesSM–Heart Failure Gold Performance Achievement Award and Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) Gold Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that Sierra Vista has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure and coronary artery disease patients with 85 percent compliance for at least 24 months to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.

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.

Under the GWTGCAD program, patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers in the hospital and receive smoking cessation/weight management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before they are discharged. Hospitals that receive the GWTG-CAD Gold Performance Achievement Award have demonstrated for 24 consecutive months that at least 85 percent of its eligible coronary patients (without contraindications) are discharged following the American Heart Association’s recommended treatment guidelines. 

The American Heart Association’s GWTGCAD program helps hospitals increase the use of and adherence to the association’s secondary prevention guidelines for coronary artery disease. Developed to assist healthcare professionals follow proven standards and procedures before patients are discharged, GWTGCAD can help Sierra Vista reduce the risk of recurrent heart attacks and death in treated patients. The program mobilizes teams in acute care hospitals to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines.

The Get With The GuidelinesSM–Heart Failure (GWTGHeart Failure) Gold Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association signifies that Sierra Vista has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85% compliance for at least 24 months to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.

Under GWTG–Heart Failure, 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. They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.

GWTG–Heart Failure helps Sierra Vista’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 Sierra Vista to improve the quality of care it provides heart failure patients, may save lives and ultimately, could reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.  

“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 Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like Sierra Vista implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients.”

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.

Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure helps Sierra Vista’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 Sierra Vista to improve the quality of care it provides heart failure patients, may save lives and ultimately, might reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.