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June 23, 2014 - USA Medical Center Recognized for Excellence in Heart Failure Care
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2014_Get_With_the_Guidelines_USA_Medical_Center.jpgUniversity of South Alabama Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.

The hospital also received a Gold Plus Award for Stroke Care from the organization last September. 

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.

USA Medical Center 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 proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants while patients are in the hospital. Before patients are discharged, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation.

“USA Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our heart failure patients. Implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure program helps us to accomplish this goal by tracking and measuring our success in meeting internationally-respected guidelines,” said USA Cardiologist and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine Dr. Barbara Burckhartt.

“We are pleased to recognize USA Medical Center 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 5.1 million people suffer from heart failure. Each year, 670,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than 275,000 people will die of the disease. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full life when their condition is managed with proper medications and devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

About the University of South Alabama Medical Center

The University of South Alabama Medical Center offers patient-centered care to the central Gulf Coast with unique services including Mobile’s only Level I Trauma Center and Regional Burn Center, plus centers of excellence in stroke care and cardiovascular diseases, and a wide range of acute care services.

About Get With The Guidelines®

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 4 million patients since 2001.

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