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Citizens Medical Center recognized with award for preventing heart failure

Jan. 20, 2013 at 9:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 19, 2013 at 7:20 p.m.


Citizens Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines - Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.

The recognition means Citizens treats heart failure patients according to guidelines recommended by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.

This marks the sixth year Citizens was recognized.

The program helps the hospital develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce health care costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks, according to a news release.

Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes, said Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, chairman 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. "Citizens Medical Center's 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 receiving the Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Achievement Award have reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for 12 consecutive months. In addition, those hospitals have demonstrated 75 percent compliance to four of nine heart failure quality measures during the 12-month period.

"Being honored for excellent patient care is the best recognition a hospital can receive," said David Brown, Citizens Medical Center's CEO. "However, what really gets us excited is seeing the lives we're impacting."

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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