American Heart Association Awards LB Memorial’s Care for Heart Patients

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The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute (MHVI) at Long Beach Memorial has received the Get With The Guidelines® – Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that Long Beach Memorial has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients according to the guidelines of care recommended by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.

“Our entire organization would like to congratulate the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Memorial on this amazing achievement,” says Diana Hendel, PharmD, CEO , Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach and Community Hospital Long Beach. “This marks the third consecutive year that MHVI has been recognized with a quality achievement award. Receiving this award demonstrates the hard work and dedication of our care teams to our patients.”

Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure helps MHVI’s clinical team develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.

The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.

“Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes,” says 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 MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Memorial’s care team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients.”

Following Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure treatment guidelines, heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies if needed, including cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants while in the hospital. Before discharge, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, including lifestyle modifications and follow-up care. Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards.

“The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country. The American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure program helps us to accomplish this goal,” says Gregory Thomas, M.D., MPH, medical director, MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Memorial. “This recognition demonstrates that we are on the right track and we’re very proud of our team.”

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. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications and devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

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