LB Medical Center Award

The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center has 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’s secondary prevention guidelines for patients with heart failure.

Get With The Guidelines — Heart Failure is a quality improvement program that helps hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, research-based standards with the goal of increasing care recovery times and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients. Launched in 2005, numerous published studies have demonstrated the program’s success in achieving patient outcome improvements, including reductions in 30-day readmissions.

The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of the more than 800 heart failure patients treated each year. These measures include evaluation of the patient, proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies, such as ACE inhibitors/ARBs, beta-blockers, diuretics, anticoagulants and other appropriate therapies. Before patients are discharged, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our heart failure patients,” says Ike Mmeje, chief operating officer, Long Beach Medical Center. “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.”

“We are pleased to recognize the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute for their commitment to heart failure care,” says Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman, Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program. Get With the Guidelines research has demonstrated the impact of lowering 30-day readmissions and reducing mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million adults in the United States suffer from heart failure, with the number expected to rise to eight million by 2030. Statistics show that each year about 870,000 new cases are diagnosed and about 50 percent of those diagnosed will die within five years. 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.