UT Medical Center earns AHA award

By: Reprinted from UT Medical Center Release
By: Reprinted from UT Medical Center Release

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (REPRINTED) -- The University of Tennessee Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association for its excellence in the treatment of patients with heart failure. The recognition signifies that the medical center met the stringent criterion outlined by the AHA and American College of Cardiology for a period of at least 24 months.

“I believe UT Medical Center’s gold award for heart failure treatment demonstrates to our community that our facility and team provide the highest level of care for patients faced with this serious condition,” said Dr. John W. Mack, medical advisor for the Heart Lung Vascular Institute and a cardiothoracic surgeon at UT Medical Center. “We’re very appreciative of the tireless efforts of our team members for creating the optimal care environment for our patients. We thank the American Heart Association for recognizing us with this accomplishment and for creating the Get With The Guidelines program to benefit patient care.”

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. Under the program, heart failure patients are started on aggressive therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin and diuretics while in the hospital.

The University of Tennessee Medical Center is to be commended for this commitment to improving the quality of care for their 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. “The goal of the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program is to help healthcare providers implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and death and improve the quality of life for 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.”

The Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure program assists UT Medical Center staff members in the development and implementation of 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 allows the medical center to further 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.

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