Saturday, August 26, 2017

American Heart Association Awards Both Lehigh Valley Schuylkill Hospitals

Lehigh Valley Hospital–Schuylkill E. Norwegian Street and Lehigh Valley Hospital S. Jackson Street have again received the Get With The Guidelines®-(GWTG) Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. 

It is the eighth consecutive year that the American Heart Association has recognized the hospitals for achieving such status.

Specifically, the GWTG award recognizes the hospitals for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation’s secondary prevention guidelines for patients with heart failure.

Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure is a quality improvement program that helps hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, research-based standards with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients. Launched in 2005, numerous published studies have demonstrated the program’s success in achieving patient outcome improvements, including reductions in 30-day readmissions.
Lehigh Valley Hospital–Schuylkill earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients. These measures include evaluation of the patient, proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies, such as ACE inhibitors/ARBs, beta-blockers, diuretics, anticoagulants, and other appropriate therapies. Before patients are discharged, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“We are very proud of this program and what it means for patients,” says Cathy Sophy, RN, Administrative Director of Quality. “LVH–Schuylkill 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

Both hospitals also received the association’s Target: Heart FailureSM Honor Roll. Target: Heart Failure is an initiative that provides hospitals with educational tools, prevention programs and treatment guidelines designed to reduce the risk of heart failure patients ending up back in the hospital. Hospitals are required to meet criteria that improves medication adherence, provides early follow-up care and coordination and enhances patient education. The goal is to reduce hospital readmissions and help patients improve their quality of life in managing this chronic condition.

“We are pleased to recognize the hospitals of Lehigh Valley Hospital–Schuylkill for their commitment to heart failure care,” says Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program. Get With the Guidelines research has demonstrated the impact of lowering 30-day readmissions and reducing mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million adults in the United States suffer from heart failure, with the number expected to rise to eight million by 2030. Statistics show that each year about 870,000 new cases are diagnosed and about 50 percent of those diagnosed will die within five years. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications or devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

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