Cooley Dickinson Recognized for Heart-failure Care

NORTHAMPTON — For the fifth consecutive year, Cooley Dickinson Hospital has received the Get with the Guidelines – Heart Failure Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality-improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Assoc./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 provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines 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.
Cooley Dickinson Hospital earned the award by meeting specific quality-achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart-failure patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the patient, proper use of medications, and aggressive risk-reduction therapies. These would include ACE inhibitors/ARBs, beta blockers, diuretics, anti-coagulants, and other appropriate therapies. Before patients are discharged, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health and get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care-transition interventions.
“Cooley Dickinson is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our heart-failure patients, and implementing the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines – Heart Failure program helps us to accomplish this goal by tracking and measuring our success in meeting internationally respected guidelines,” said Tammy Cole-Poklewski, director of quality and patient safety.
Added Dr. Deepak Bhatt, national chairman of the Get with the Guidelines steering committee, executive director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, “we are pleased to recognize Cooley Dickinson Hospital for their commitment to heart-failure care. Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get with the Guidelines quality-improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and also reduce disparity gaps in care.”
According to the American Heart Assoc., about 5.7 million adults in the U.S. suffer from heart failure, with the number expected to rise to 8 million by 2030. Statistics show that about 870,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and about 50{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} 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.