The Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that the UConn Health Center has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85 percent compliance for at least 24 months to core standard levels of care as 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.
Under Get With The Guidelines–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 alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.
“The Calhoun Cardiology Center 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 goal by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcome for these patients,” says cardiologist Dr. Jason Ryan.
The program includes quality-improvement measures such as care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders and measurement tools. Ryan says the guideline tools will help the Health Center improve the quality of care it provides heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.
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.