Christ Medical Center's Treatment of Heart Failure Simply 'Golden' by American Heart Assn. Standards
Oak Lawn, Ill. -- Advocate Christ Medical Center’s care of patients with heart failure is proving simply “golden” by American Heart Association (AHA) standards.
The AHA declared Christ Medical Center and its Heart and Vascular Institute the recipient of a Get With The Guidelines®--Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award, after the medical center demonstrated it had achieved an aggressive goal of treating heart-failure patients with 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care for a period of at least 24 months.
The “core standard levels of care” refer to those treatment standards outlined in the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart-failure patients.
Get With The Guidelines®--Heart Failure is a quality improvement initiative that provides hospital staff with tools for following proven, evidence-based guidelines and procedures in caring for heart-failure patients to prevent future hospitalizations. Under the program, heart-failure patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies, such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants, while they are still in the hospital. An inpatient team of nurses is dedicated to the heart-failure patient population. The nurses educate patients and families on self-management, signs and symptoms of heart failure and steps to take when symptoms occur.
Christ Medical Center also offers patients the resource of its nationally recognized outpatient heart-failure clinic. The availability of the clinic ensures that the heart-failure patient has the support needed for chronic disease management when making the transition from the hospital to the home. In addition to the heart-failure clinic, the medical center provides 24-hour, seven-days-a-week access to a heart-failure clinician. Patients have the opportunity to discuss medications, diet and other issues that they may be experiencing. The heart-failure clinician assists patients and families in navigating through the management of heart failure at home.
“Christ Medical Center is dedicated to making care for our heart failure patients among the best in the country. Implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines—Heart Failure program helps us accomplish this goal by making it easier for our physicians and other health care professionals to improve the long-term outcomes for these patients,” said Marc Silver MD, a heart failure expert and chair of the department of medicine at Christ Medical Center.
He added that Get With The Guidelines helps the Christ Medical Center team develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes. The program includes quality-improvement measures like care maps, hospital discharge protocols, and standing orders.
“The quick and efficient use of these guideline tools enables us to enhance the quality of care for our heart-failure patients, save lives and, ultimately, reduce health care costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks,” Dr. Silver said.
Approximately 5.7 million people in the United States have heart failure, according to the American Heart Association. Statistics also show that 670,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed every year, and some 277,000 people die of the disease annually.
“Published scientific studies are providing us with increasing evidence that Get With The Guidelines works. Patients are getting the right care they need when they need it. That’s resulting in improved survival,” said Lee H. Schwamm MD, chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the Telestroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “Full implementation of national heart failure guidelines is a critical step in preventing recurrent hospitalizations and prolonging the lives of heart-failure patients.”
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About Advocate Christ Medical Center Advocate Christ Medical Center is part of Advocate Health Care, which is one of the nation’s leading health care networks. A not-for-profit, 690-bed, premier teaching institution with nearly 1,000 affiliated physicians, Christ Medical Center is a leader in health care and one of the major referral hospitals in the Midwest in a number of specialties, including cardiovascular services, heart and kidney transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, orthopedics, pediatrics and women’s health. The hospital also has one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in Illinois providing emergency care for more than 90,000 patient visits annually and is a leader in breakthrough technologies, including eICU® (electronic intensive care unit) monitoring, robotic da Vinci Surgery System® and CyberKnife® Radiosurgery. The hospital was named to the 2012 Thomson Reuters list of 100 Top Hospitals®, and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a Magnet Center. Magnet status represents the highest honor in the nursing profession. To obtain more information or to visit our newsroom, log on to: www.advocatehealth.com/christ. Located on the same campus is Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital, the largest freestanding pediatric medical facility in the south and southwest suburbs and houses a Level IIIc neonatal intensive care unit, the highest designation awarded in Illinois.