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Home > News Room > Memorial earns Get With The Guidelines Gold Performance Achievement Award

Memorial earns Get With The Guidelines Gold Performance Achievement Award

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and The Heart Center of Niagara have received the Get With The GuidelinesSM–Heart Failure Gold Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.

The recognition signifies that Memorial has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85 percent compliance for at least 24 months to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.

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 to prevent future hospitalizations.  Under Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure, 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 alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.

Niagara Falls Memorial has successfully implemented these quality measures for more than 24 consecutive months.

“The full implementation of national heart failure guideline recommended care is a critical step in preventing recurrent hospitalizations and prolonging the lives of heart failure patients,” said Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center.  “The goal of the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like Niagara Falls Memorial implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients.”

Memorial previously earned the Get With The GuidelinesSM–Heart Failure Silver Performance Achievement Award, an achievement highlighted in the July 28 issue of U.S. News & World Report.  The hospital’s Gold Award will be included in the magazine’s 100 Best Hospitals Issue in 2010.

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics also show each year more than 292,200 people will die of heart failure.
“Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country.  Implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure program will help us accomplish this goal by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcome for these patients,” President & CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo said.

“Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure helps our staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes,” Ruffolo added.  “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 Memorial 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.”

Ruffolo thanks staff for making Memorial a great place to work

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