Jul 16, 2014 -
Eastern Connecticut Health Network (ECHN) has joined the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure (GWTG-HF), a quality improvement program created to help hospital teams provide guideline-based care for heart failure patients.
GWTG–HF was developed from recommendations by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. The program provides hospital staff with tools that follow proven research-based guidelines and procedures in caring for heart failure patients to prevent future hospitalizations.
As a GWTG–HF participating hospital, staffs at Manchester Memorial Hospital and Rockville General Hospital 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.
Following GWTG-HF treatment guidelines, staffs at both hospitals treat heart failure patients with 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. All participating GWTG-HF hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for performance achievement awards.
“ECHN is dedicated to helping our heart failure patients have the best possible outcomes, 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 teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis,” said Matthew R. Wallace, BS, RDCS, MBA, Administrative Director Cardiovascular and Neurology Services at ECHN.
According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics 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 or devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.
In March of this year, ECHN announced its participation in the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke program designed to enhance the overall quality of care for stroke patients by improving acute stroke treatment and preventing future strokes and cardiovascular events.
“ECHN is committed to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke and Heart Failure patients,” said Wallace. “We’re here to save lives and improve the outcomes of our patients.”