For the second year in a row, Johnson City Medical Center has been awarded two gold medals by the American Heart Association,while two other Mountain States Health Alliance facilities each received their first AHA gold awards. These AHA awards were spotlighted in the July 2010 edition of U.S. News and World Report.
The American Heart Association's Get With the Guidelines database evaluates hospital data, looking at how each facility handled patient treatment for heart failure and coronary artery disease. Facilities are recognized in one of three levels - bronze, silver or gold. For a gold award, a hospital must meet or exceed best practice guidelines with a minimum 85% compliance for at least 24 months. MSHA facilities have steadily improved in the AHA's rankings over the years and were the only hospitals in the region to receive this recognition.
For 2010, JCMC received its second gold in treatment of both heart failure and coronary artery disease in as many years. It was the only hospital in Tennessee to achieve the honor of two golds over a two-year period in these categories. Indian Path Medical Centerin Kingsport and Sycamore Shoals Hospitalin Elizabethton each received their first gold awards in the treatment of heart failure.
"The American Heart Association applauds the MSHA hospitals for their success in implementing the appropriate standards of care and protocols to treat heart failure," said Gray Ellrodt, M.D., AHA volunteer chairman for Get With the Guidelines.
Under the GWTG protocols, patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers in the hospital. They also receive smoking cessation and weight management counseling and referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before they are discharged. Hospitals that receive the award have demonstrated that at least 85 percent of their coronary patients (without contraindications) are discharged following the American Heart Association's recommended treatments.
The GWTG program, which works by mobilizing teams in acute care hospitals to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines, was developed with support from an unrestricted educational grant from Merck & Co. Inc. According to the American Heart Association, about 500,000 people suffer a recurrent heart attack each year. Statistics also show that within one year of an attack, 25 percent of men and 38 percent of women will die. Within six years after a heart attack, about 22 percent of men and 46 percent of women will be disabled with heart failure.
The American Heart Association's GWTG program is being implemented in hospitals around the country.
For more information, visit www.americanheart.org/getwiththeguidelines.