CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, June 21, 2011 -- Lake Health has received the Get With The Guidelines® Heart Failure Silver Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that Lake Health has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients to core standard levels of care 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. According to Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure treatment guidelines, 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.
"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 Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. "The goal of the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like Lake Health implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients. Published scientific studies are providing us with more and more evidence that Get With The Guidelines works. Patients are getting the right care they need when they need it. That's resulting in improved survival."
The Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Program helps Lake Health'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 Lake Health to improve the quality of care it provides heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce health care costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.
Lake Health's Congestive Heart Failure Clinic was created in 2005 to decrease patient re-admission into the hospital for heart failure patients. The Clinic's nurse practitioners accomplish this goal by monitoring patient's vital signs, weight and medications on an outpatient basis, providing patient education on the symptoms and physiological effects of congestive heart failure, keeping an eye on patient's sodium intake, and offering helpful nutrition counseling.
Heart failure patients are encouraged and taught to weigh themselves daily at home to monitor fluid retention so that they can request a change in their heart failure therapy from their physician before needing to be hospitalized. In 2011 the Lake Health Foundation funded a grant to provide heart failure patients with a digital scale if they didn't have one and couldn't afford to buy one.
"Lake Health is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country, and implementing the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure program will help us accomplish this by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcome for these patients," said Cynthia Moore-Hardy, president and CEO of Lake Health.
According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics also show that, each year, 670,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than 277,000 people will die of heart failure.
About Lake Health
For nine consecutive years NorthCoast 99 has named Lake Health one of the 99 Best Places to Work in Northeast Ohio. Dedicated to redefining health care in Northeast Ohio, Lake Health provides patient- and family-centered care that promotes a lifetime of health and wellness. Lake Health delivers progressive, compassionate health care through 16 state-of-the-art facilities staffed by more than 600 physicians and 2,700 health care professionals. To learn more, visit www.lakehealth.org or follow @LakeHealth on Twitter.
About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.