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 for the second year in a row. 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.
“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 helps us accomplish this goal by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcome for these patients,” says Dr. Jason Ryan.
“One of our quality initiatives is the ‘Hospital to Home Program’ which helps keep heart failure patients at home and out of the hospital. We provide 24/7 access via telephone to our cardiac nurses and cardiologists,” explains Ryan. Also, every patient is scheduled for a follow-up visit with a physician or nurse practitioner within seven days after discharge. Studies suggest that a seven day evaluation helps keep patients from being readmitted to the hospital.
Ryan and Wendy Martinson, a registered nurse and quality assurance specialist, recently made a presentation about the Health Center’s heart failure readmission program before a national meeting of the University Health System Consortium. And two of their posters on this topic have been accepted for presentation at the 24th Annual Institute of Healthcare Improvement National Forum in December.
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.