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American Heart Association recognizes University Hospital’s excellent care for heart failure patients

USA Health University Hospital has earned the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and is recognized on the AHA’s Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll. University Hospital has received the Gold Plus Quality Achievement for two consecutive years and is the first hospital in Alabama to achieve the Heart Failure Gold Plus with Target: Honor Roll Award recognition level.

Published Jul 11th, 2019

By Lindsay Mott
lmott@health.southalabama.edu

USA Health University Hospital has earned the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and is recognized on the AHA’s Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll. University Hospital has received the Gold Plus Quality Achievement for two consecutive years and is the first hospital in Alabama to achieve the Heart Failure Gold Plus with Target: Honor Roll Award recognition level.

The Gold Plus Award is an advanced level of recognition that acknowledges hospitals for their compliance with the quality measures within the Get With The Guidelines Heart Failure program. The award recognizes our hospital’s commitment to ensuring heart failure patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to the latest nationally recognized, evidence-based guidelines.

USA Health University Hospital achieved the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients at a set level for at least 24 consecutive months. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of guideline-directed medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies. Before discharge, patients receive in-depth education on managing their heart failure and overall health, have a close follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“Since established, the Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Program at USA Health University Hospital has offered individualized, patient-centered, continued care from our multidisciplinary team, and the optimization of medical therapies for our heart failure patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings” said Dr. Barbara Burckhartt, USA Health cardiologist and heart failure team co-chair. “This has ultimately resulted in significant reductions in morbidity and mortality for our patients, as well as improvements in their quality of life and functional status.”

USA Health University Hospital is also recognized on the AHA’s Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll. Hospitals who earn this award have demonstrated specific criteria of improving medication adherence, providing early follow-up care coordination, and enhancing patient education.

“We are extremely proud to have earned the Gold Plus Target Honor Roll Quality Achievement Award. This award reflects our team’s hard work and commitment to deliver evidence-based care and in doing so improve outcomes for our heart failure patients,” said Burckhartt, who also serves as associate professor of internal medicine at the USA College of Medicine.

The goal of the Honor Roll is to reduce hospital readmissions and help patients to improve their quality of life in managing this chronic condition.

“We are pleased to recognize USA Health University Hospital for their commitment to heart failure care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and executive vice chair of neurology, director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association, 6.5 million Americans are living with heart failure. An additional 670,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. With the aging of the population, the problem is poised to reach epidemic proportions in coming years, taking a tremendous toll in quality of life as well as longevity. "At USA Health University Hospital, we strive to provide our patients with the best possible resources to manage any of their chronic health conditions," Burckhartt said. "We are extremely proud to receive this award and are working hard to continue improving the quality of life for our heart failure patient population."

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