ECMC Receives Heart Failure Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award

Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award

Get with the guidelines

October 30, 2015 – Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation received the Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation’s secondary prevention guidelines for patients with heart failure.

This marks the 10th year that ECMC has been recognized with a quality achievement award.

Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure is a quality improvement program that helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients.  Launched in 2005, numerous published studies have demonstrated the program’s success in achieving patient outcome improvements, including reductions in 30-day readmissions.

ECMC earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients at a set level for a designated period.  These measures include evaluation of the patient, proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies.  These would include ACE inhibitors/ARBs, beta-blockers, diuretics, anticoagulants, and other appropriate therapies.  Before patients are discharged, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, have a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

ECMC also received the association’s Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll.  Target: Heart Failure is an initiative that provides hospitals with educational tools, prevention programs and treatment guidelines designed to reduce the risk of heart failure patients ending up back in the hospital.  Hospitals are required to meet criteria that improves medication adherence, provides early follow-up care and coordination and enhances patient education.  The goal is to reduce hospital readmissions and help patients improve their quality of life in managing this chronic condition.

“We are dedicated to delivering ‘the gold standard’ of care to our heart failure patients,” said Richard C. Cleland, MPA, FACHE, NHA, Chief Executive Officer, ECMC Corporation.  “Having the ability to track and measure our success by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure program enables us to meet internationally-respected guidelines and affirms our commitment to achieve such results.  We are proud to receive this confirmation of excellence, join the ‘Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll,’ and prouder still that our clinicians consistently meet these high standards to deliver this level of care to our patients.”

“We are pleased to recognize ECMC for their commitment to heart failure care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and also reduce disparity gaps in care.”

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million adults in the United States suffer from heart failure, with the number expected to rise to eight million by 2030. Statistics show that each year about 870,000 new cases are diagnosed and about 50 percent of those diagnosed will die within five years.  However, many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications or devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.