(Lake Charles, Louisiana-July 14, 2006) CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital, located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, has announced it has received the Get With The Guidelines - Heart Failure (GWTG-HF) Initial Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85% compliance to core standard levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients. CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital has exceeded the program compliance goal by averaging 98.5% in all five areas of measurement. CHRISTUS St. Patrick is the only healthcare facility in the state of Louisiana to receive this prestigious award and is one of only 307 hospitals in the United States that offers this level of care to heart failure patients.
Get With The GuidelinesSM is a quality improvement initiative that provides hospital staff tools that follow proven evidence-based guidelines and procedures for heart failure patients in their care to prevent future hospitalizations. Currently 70,216 heart failure patients from all over the nation are enrolled in the American Heart Association's Get With the Guidelines-Heart Failure program. Of that number, 564 heart failure patients from the Southwest Louisiana region have been entered into the national database since March 2005.
Under GWTG-HF, 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 smoking cessation counseling and thyroid management counseling and referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged. CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital has successfully implemented these quality measures for the last 7 months.
"The full implementation of acute and secondary prevention guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives of heart failure patients," said Gregg Fonarow, M.D., chairman of the GWTG Science Sub-Committee and director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. "The aim of the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital implement appropriate evidence-based guidelines for care and protocols that will reduce the number of deaths in these patients."
According to the American Heart Association, about 5 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics also show the incidence of heart failure has not declined in two decades and each year more than 52,000 people will die of heart failure. "CHRISTUS St. Patrick 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 - HF program will help us accomplish this by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcome for these patients," said Richard Gilmore, M.D., Regional Heart Center Cardiologist and Physician Champion of the CHF Program at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital.
GWTG-HF helps St. Patrick'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 CHRISTUS St. Patrick 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.
The heart failure module, developed with support from an unrestricted educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline, is being implemented in hospitals around the country. For more information on Get With The Guidelines, visit americanheart.org/getwiththeguidelines.The American Heart Association already recognizes CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital with a Get With The Guidelines Coronary Artery Disease (GWTG-CAD) Sustained Performance Achievement Award for success in using the program to improve quality of care for patients with heart disease. Hospitals who have earned a Sustained Performance Achievement Award have maintained this performance level for two years or more.