DeGraff Memorial Hospital Receives Heart Failure Quality Achievement Award

Released: 6/4/2014

DeGraff Memorial Hospital (DeGraff) received the Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.

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.

DeGraff 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 proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies, such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants while patients are in the hospital. Before patients are discharged, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation.

DeGraff also received the association’s Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll. Target: Heart Failure is an initiative that provides hospitals with educational tools, prevention programs and treatment guidelines developed 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.

“DeGraff 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 Mary Brown, director of nursing at DeGraff.

“We are pleased to recognize DeGraff for their commitment to heart failure care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, 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. “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 Association, about 5.1 million people suffer from heart failure. Each year, 670,000 new cases are diagnosed, and more than 275,000 people will die of heart failure. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full life when their condition is managed with proper medications and devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.