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Published on June 20, 2013

Award Demonstrates Commitment to Quality Care for Heart Failure Patients

WATERBURY, Conn. (June 20, 2013) — Saint Mary’s Hospital has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. This recognition signifies that Saint Mary’s Hospital has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients according to the guidelines of care recommended by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.

This marks the fifth consecutive year that Saint Mary’s Hospital has been recognized with a Quality Achievement Award for outstanding cardiac care. It is the hospital’s fourth Gold Award for outstanding care of heart failure patients.

Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure helps Saint Mary’s Hospital’s staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.

The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks. 

“Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., 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, Mass. “Saint Mary’s Hospital’s team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients.”

Following Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure treatment guidelines, heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies if needed, including cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants while in the hospital. Before discharge, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, including lifestyle modifications and follow-up care. Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards.

“Saint Mary’s Hospital is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country. The American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure program helps us to accomplish this goal,” said Paul Kelly, M.D., a board-certified cardiologist with Franklin Medical Group Cardiology, an affiliate of Saint Mary’s Hospital, who has championed the hospital’s involvement in the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines programs since 2008. “This recognition demonstrates that we are on the right track and we’re very proud of our team.”

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. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications and devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

About Saint Mary’s Health System

Saint Mary’s Health System is a leading regional healthcare provider anchored by Saint Mary’s Hospital, an acute care community teaching hospital that has served Greater Waterbury for more than 100 years. Licensed for 347 beds, Saint Mary’s is designated as a Level II Trauma Center and Primary Stroke Center, offers award-winning cardiac care and houses the region’s only pediatric emergency care unit. As the leading provider of surgical services in Greater Waterbury, Saint Mary’s was the first to introduce the daVinci® Robotic Surgery System. The health system’s satellites and affiliates extend from Waterbury to Wolcott, Naugatuck, Southbury, Prospect and Watertown. For more information visit www.thats-exceptional.org.

About Get With The Guidelines

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit www.heart.org/quality.

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(203) 709-6240