UC Medical Center Earns the Gold for Quality Care of Heart Failure Patients

University of Cincinnati Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation’s secondary prevention guidelines for patients with heart failure.

This marks the fourth time that UC Medical Center has received the Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award; the first was in 2014. It’s the sixth time the hospital has received a quality achievement award for its efforts to help heart failure patient. UC Medical Center received the Bronze Quality Achievement Award in 2011 and the Silver Achievement Award in 2013.

Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure is a quality improvement program that helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients. Launched in 2005, numerous published studies have demonstrated the program’s success in achieving patient outcome improvements, including reductions in 30-day readmissions.

UC Medical Center earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the patient, proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies. These would include ACE inhibitors/ARBs, beta-blockers, diuretics, anticoagulants, and other appropriate therapies. Before patients are discharged, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, get a follow-up visit scheduled and other care transition interventions.

“Improving the quality of care for heart failure patients in the Tristate is a top priority for physicians, nurses and medical staff at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center,” says Stephanie Dunlap, DO, medical director of the UC Health Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Center. “We are able to accomplish this goal in part by implementing the rigorous standards the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure program promotes. We can measure our success against these internationally respected guidelines and our patients are the clear beneficiaries.”

UC Medical Center also received the association’s Target: Heart FailureSM Honor Roll. Target: Heart Failure is an initiative that provides hospitals with educational tools, prevention programs and treatment guidelines designed to reduce the risk of heart failure patients ending up back in the hospital. Hospitals are required to meet criteria that improves medication adherence, provides early follow-up care and coordination and enhances patient education. The goal is to reduce hospital readmissions and help patients improve their quality of life in managing this chronic condition.

“We are pleased to recognize the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for its commitment to heart failure care,” said Paul Heidenreich, MD, national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program. Get With The Guidelines research has demonstrated the impact of lowering 30-day readmissions and reducing mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million adults in the United States suffer from heart failure, with the number expected to rise to eight million by 2030. Statistics show that each year about 870,000 new cases are diagnosed and about 50 percent of those diagnosed will die within five years. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications or devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

“The University of Cincinnati Medical Center Heart Failure program, under the leadership of Dr. Dunlap continues its legacy of excellent patient care by serving our community,” says Richard Becker, MD, director and physician-in-chief of the UC Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute. “Our commitment to prevention and treatment of heart disease is critical to improving heart health throughout the Tristate.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment with the UC Health Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Center please call 513-584-7217.

About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 6 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org.

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