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American Heart Association Presents Quality Achievement Award to SVMH

SVMHS recognized for treatment of heart failure

SALINAS, CA, November 18, 2011: The American Heart Association presented an award to Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System at the Board of Directors meeting yesterday for achievements in the treatment of Heart Failure. The Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure Silver Quality Achievement Award recognizes Salinas Valley Memorial’s advanced expertise in providing quality patient care to patients with congestive heart failure. The award is the result of meeting stringent criteria on important clinical standards for treating heart failure patients. In order to receive the award, Salinas Valley Memorial had to achieve the goal of a minimum of 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care for heart failure patients as outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.

This is the first year Salinas Valley Memorial has participated in this part of the Get With The Guidelines—Heart Failure program. It has received the Get With The Guidelines—Coronary Artery Disease Award for the last 5 years.

Get With The Guidelines is a quality improvement initiative that provides hospital staff with tools that follow proven evidence-based guidelines and procedures in caring for heart failurepatients to prevent future hospitalizations. According to the program’s treatment guidelines, heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics, and anticoagulants in the hospital. They also receive education related to their medication and ways to avoid further readmissions as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.

“Salinas Valley Memorial is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country, 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 professionals to improve the long-term outcome for these patients,” said Irene Neumeister, VP/Patient Care and Cardiovascular Services.

Under this program, Salinas Valley Memorial’s staff develops and implements acute and secondary prevention guideline processes. The program includes quality-improvement measures such as standardized patient education measurement tools. This quick and efficient use of guideline tools will enable Salinas Valley Memorial to improve the quality of care itprovides heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of hospital readmissions.

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.

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