PHILADELPHIA — The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The award recognizes HUP's commitment and success in implementing excellent care for heart failure patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.
To receive the award, HUP has reached an ambitious 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.
"HUP serves a large population of patients with heart failure, and our health care team remains committed to the very best care for these vulnerable patients," said Mariell Jessup, MD, medical director of the Penn Medicine Heart & Vascular Center. "We are thrilled to see our efforts recognized once again by the American Heart Association."
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 and decrease mortality.
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 while in the hospital. They also receive education about their disease and nutritional counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.
Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure helps HUP'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 HUP 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.
"This year, we have surpassed our previous guideline compliance rates from just over the mandatory 85 percent compliance, to sustaining greater than 95 percent compliance for all quality measures. This is a clear testament to the dedication and determination of our team of caregivers," said Michelle Walsh, RN, BSN, Clinical Effectiveness and Quality Improvement Coordinator for HUP.
According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics also show that, each year, 670,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than 277,000 people will die of heart failure.