Categorized | Health

Hilo Medical Center receives performance achievement award

(Photo courtesy of Hilo Medical Center)


Hilo Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure Bronze Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.

The recognition signifies that Hilo Medical Center has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients for at least 90 days (July 1-Sept. 30 2010) with 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.

Get With The Guidelines is a quality improvement initiative that provides hospital staff with tools that follow proven evidence-based measures and procedures in caring for heart failure patients to prevent future hospitalizations.

According to Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure treatment guidelines, heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics, and anticoagulants in the hospital.

They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.

“The full implementation of national heart failure guideline recommended care is a critical step in preventing recurrent hospitalizations and prolonging the lives of heart failure patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chairman of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and Director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass.

“The goal of the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like Hilo Medical Center implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients. Published scientific studies are providing us with more and more 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,” Schwamm said.

“Hilo Medical Center is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country, and implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure program will help us accomplish this by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcome for these patients,” said Howard N. Ainsley, East Hawaii Regional CEO of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation.

Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure helps Hilo Medical Center’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 Hilo Medical Center 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.

In 2009, Hilo Medical Center was awarded the Gold Award for Congestive Heart Disease.

NATIONWIDE STATS: According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people nationwide suffer from heart failure and more than 292,200 people died of heart failure in 2009.

HAWAII COUNTY STATS: According to the Hawaii State Department of Health’s 2007 Primary Care Needs Assessment Data Book, Hawaii County had the highest mortality rate for Chronic Heart Disease in the State.

According to 2009 data from Hawaii State Department of Health Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program, Hawaii County:

* In 2009, there were 379 heart failure discharges from Hawaii County hospitals, consisting of 11.3 percent of state-wide heart failure hospital discharges.

* In 2009, the average age at hospital admission for heart failure in Hawaii County was 70.35 years.

* Native Hawaiians make up 27.7 percent of all heart failure hospital discharges in Hawaii County.

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