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Press Release Archive (2014)

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Lowell General Hospital Earns American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines Silver Performance Achievement Award

Lauded for treatment of patients with heart failure and coronary artery disease

Lowell, Mass., July 27, 2009 - Lowell General Hospital has received the Get With The GuidelinesSM - Heart Failure Silver Performance Achievement Award and Coronary Artery Disease Silver Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. These recognitions signify that the hospital has reached the aggressive goals of treating heart failure (HF) and coronary artery disease (CAD) patients with 85% or higher compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association for 12 consecutive months.

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 patients with heart failure and coronary artery disease to prevent future hospitalizations and save lives. Most hospitals that implement Get With The Guidelines realize measurable results, including improved patient outcomes and fewer recurring events.

"The full implementation of national heart failure guideline recommended care is a critical step in preventing recurrent hospitalizations and prolonging the lives of heart failure patients," said Gregg C Fonarow, M.D., National Chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. "The goal of the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like Lowell General Hospital implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients."

According to Get With The Guidelines-HF 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. Under Get With The Guidelines-CAD, patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers in the hospital and receive smoking cessation/ weight management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before they are discharged.

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics also show that each year more than 292,200 people will die of heart failure. Additionally, one in five deaths in the United States is caused by coronary artery disease.

"Lowell General Hospital is dedicated to making our care for heart and vascular patients among the best in the country. Our commitment to the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure and Coronary Artery Disease programs is one of the ways we can accomplish this goal," said Normand E. Deschene, President and Chief Executive Officer at Lowell General Hospital.

Get With The Guidelines- Heart Failure and Coronary Artery Disease programs help Lowell General Hospital's staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes. The program includes quality-improvement measures such as care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders and measurement tools. This quick and efficient use of guideline tools enables Lowell General to improve the quality of care it provides heart failure and coronary artery disease patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.

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Photo: Accepting two American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines Silver Performance Achievement awards, for Heart Failure and Coronary Artery Disease, at Lowell General Hospital were (L-R) Meg Waite, RN, Quality Improvement Specialist; Normand Deschene, hospital president and chief executive officer; Dr. Richard Birkhead, chief of cardiovascular services; Erin Donovan, Director of Quality and Risk Management; and American Heart Association's Megan Mazza, MPH, CPHQ, Director of Quality Improvement Initiatives.

AHA AwardsAHA Siver Coronary Artery Disease AwardAHA Silver Heart Failure Award

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