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St. Mary Medical Center receives American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines Gold Quality Achievement Award for Treating Heart Failure

LANGHORNE, PA, March 8, 2012 — St. Mary Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that St. Mary has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart-failure patients with compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart-failure patients for a period of at least 24 months.

Get With The Guidelines is a quality improvement initiative that promotes evidence-based guidelines and procedures in caring for heart-failure patients with the goal of preventing future hospitalizations, reducing disability, and prolonging and improving quality of life.

As part of the Guidelines protocols, heart-failure patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants while in the hospital. They also receive a referral for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.

St. Mary also has added additional protocols for better management of heart failure. A transitional nurse is dedicated to interacting with and educating patients with heart failure to help better manage their disease and to follow up with their home healthcare needs. Continuing updates on the guidelines, core measures and disease-specific medications in treating heart-failure patients also are routinely provided to physicians and medical professionals at St. Mary.

“St. Mary Medical Center consistently is recognized nationally for its achievement in using evidence-based guidelines to provide the highest standards of quality care,” says Dr. Richard Leshner, Chief of the Cardiovascular Section at St. Mary. “St. Mary has one of the region’s most advanced and comprehensive heart programs, and provides advanced patient-centered care with a focus on quality, safety, and compassion. In our compliance with the evidence-based protocols of the Get With The Guidelines program, we ensure our patients are getting the right care when they need it.”

The Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure program helps to improve the quality of care provided to heart-failure patients, and ultimately to save lives.

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.