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Hospital Receives American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines Bronze Performance Achievement Award

GWTG AwardReleased: December 16, 2010

The Chester County Hospital has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Bronze Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that The Chester County Hospital has reached the aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients for at least 90 days with 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care 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. According to Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure treatment guidelines, heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics, and anticoagulants in the hospital. They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.

"The full implementation of national heart failure guideline recommended care is a critical step in preventing recurrent hospitalizations and prolonging the lives of heart failure patients," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass.

"The goal of the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like ours implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients. Published scientific studies are providing us with more and more evidence that Get With The Guidelines works. Patients are getting the right care they need when they need it. That's resulting in improved survival," adds William Clay Warnick, MD, Co-Chairman, Heart Failure Program at The Chester County Hospital.

"The Chester County Hospital 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 by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcome for these patients," said H.L. Perry Pepper, President and CEO, The Chester County Hospital and Health System. "This mark of distinction for our cardiovascular program comes on the heels of other recent achievements, including Chest Pain Center Accreditation with PCI from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), being recognized as a Blue Distinction Center by Independence Blue Cross, and achieving Certification by the Joint Commission in both AMI (heart attack) and Stroke. These achievements recognize the hard work that our Hospital has done to provide the highest level of care to our patients when it comes to matters of the heart."

Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure helps The Chester County Hospital's staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes. The program includes quality-improvement measures such as care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders and measurement tools. This quick and efficient use of guideline tools will enable The Chester County Hospital to improve the quality of care it provides heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.

About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.

Last Updated: 12/16/2010