CINCINNATI — 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 second time that UC Medical Center has received the Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award; the first was in 2014. It’s the fourth 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.
"The American Heart Association’s Heart Failure Gold Performance award is given to very few programs in the country. The designation ‘plus’ signifies both achievement and sustainment of high quality care,” said Richard Becker, MD, director and physician-in-chief of the UC Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute and director of the Division of Cardiovascular Health and Disease at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
"Our commitment to the community comes through daily action, something each patient expects, deserves and receives at UC Medical Center and the Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute,” said Becker.
Stephanie Dunlap, DO, medical director of the UC Health Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Program, said UC Medical Center’s award is the result of a first-class team of physicians, nurses and nursing managers along with a dedicated cardiovascular service line administrator.
"The goal of the UC Health Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Center is to provide comprehensive state-of-the-art care to Tristate patients suffering from chronic heart failure, a disease with one of the highest mortality rates in the United States,” said Dunlap, also an associate professor in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
"We are pleased to recognize University of Cincinnati Medical Center for their commitment to heart failure care,” said Deepak Bhatt, MD, M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and also reduce disparity gaps in care.”
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.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with the UC Health Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Center please call 513-584-7217.