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St. Mary Medical Center Turns Guidelines into Lifelines
Medical Center is recognized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for implementing guidelines treating patients with stroke, coronary artery disease, and heart failure.

LANGHORNE, Pa., January 6, 2009 – St. Mary Medical Center recently was recognized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for implementing their “Get With the Guidelines” program for stroke, coronary artery disease, and heart failure. St. Mary received the Silver Performance Achievement Award for its excellence in stroke care and the Bronze Performance Achievement Awards for both coronary artery disease and heart failure. This level of achievement shows St. Mary’s commitment to adhering to the highest standards of care as it serves the community.

“Get With the Guidelines” helps ensure that patients treated and discharged receive quality care in accordance with guidelines designed to reduce the risk of secondary events. It takes advantage of the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a heart attack or stroke, when patients are most likely to listen to their physicians’ treatment recommendations.

“We are constantly vigilant when it comes to finding new ways to provide the highest levels of medical excellence for our patients,” says St. Mary Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Conroy. “These latest guidelines further bolster our robust stroke and heart care programs at the St. Mary Primary Stroke Center and the St. Mary Heart and Vascular Center. Our commitment to quality and patient safety sets us apart as leaders in the region.”

This accomplishment signifies that St. Mary has reached an aggressive goal of treating stroke, coronary artery disease, and heart failure patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to the core standard levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines and recommendations. The Silver Performance Achievement Award signifies that St. Mary has maintained this performance level for at least 12 consecutive months. To receive the Bronze Award in both coronary artery disease and heart failure, St. Mary maintained this level of compliance for a minimum of 90 consecutive days.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, each year approximately 700,000 people suffer a stroke, 300,000 people suffer a recurrent heart attack, and 5.2 million people suffer from heart failure. The “Get With the Guidelines” program is an efficient tool to assist healthcare professionals in improving the long-term outcomes of stroke and cardiac patients. The evidence-based protocols of the program ultimately save lives and reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of events.