Heart Care Achievement Awards 
 
 

Accepting the awards are Candy Markwith, Karen Kelly,

Nathan Nybakke, Dr. Kenneth Stevens & Georgette Sabota.

 

Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center’s achievements in the area of heart care have been recognized with two 2009 Gold Performance Achievement Awards from the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines Program. Sierra Vista earned these awards for the treatment of both Coronary Artery Disease and Heart Failure.

The awards recognize Sierra Vista’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of cardiac care that effectively improves treatment of patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease. 

 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 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 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.

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, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.  

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 the American Heart Association, approximately 565,000 people suffer a new heart attack and 300,000 experience a recurrent heart attack each year. Statistics also show that within one year of a heart attack, 18 percent of men and 23 percent of women will die. Within five years after an attack, about 33 percent of men and 43 percent of women will die.  According to the American Heart Association, about 5.2 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics also show each year more than 57,000 people will die of heart failure.

The Get With The Guidelines program mobilizes teams in acute care hospitals to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines. GWTG is being implemented in hospitals around the country.