Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center consistently is the recipient of numerous awards for its outstanding level of care. On October 31, the medical center announced its latest award: the Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association (AHA). The award recognizes UCLA’s commitment to quality care for heart failure patients according to the guidelines of care recommended by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology. Furthermore, it is the third consecutive year that Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has been recognized with a heart failure quality achievement award
According to the AHA, about 5.7 million individuals in the US 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.
Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure facilitates the development and implementation of acute and secondary prevention guideline processes by hospital staff; thus, facilitating 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. UCLA notes that the prompt and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for heart failure patients, save lives, and reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart failure hospitalizations.
“Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country. Programs like the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure program helps us to accomplish this goal,” noted Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, director of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center and co-chief of clinical cardiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He added, “This recognition demonstrates that we are on the right track and we’re very proud of our team.”
The Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure treatment guidelines insure that heart failure patients are started on evidence-based heart failure therapies if needed, including beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and aldosterone antagonists 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.
“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,” explained 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. “Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center’s team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients.”