Torrance Memorial 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 secondary prevention guidelines for heart
Torrance Memorial has previously received the Gold quality achievement
award in 2012 and 2013. This year, it also received the Get With the Guidelines-Stroke
Gold Plus and the Get With the Guidelines Resuscitation Silver award.
Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure is a quality improvement program
that helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based
guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions
for heart failure patients.
Torrance Memorial earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement
measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients at
a set level for a designated period. These measures include proper use
of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering
drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants
while patients are in the hospital. Before patients are discharged, they
also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health,
as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation.
Torrance Memorial also received the association's Target: Heart Failure
Honor Roll. Target: Heart Failure is an initiative that provides hospitals
with educational tools, prevention programs and treatment guidelines developed
to reduce the risk of heart failure patients ending up back in the hospital.
Hospitals are required to meet criteria that improves medication adherence,
provides early follow-up care and coordination and enhances patient education.
The goal is to reduce hospital readmissions and help patients improve
their quality of life in managing this chronic condition.
"The guidelines ensure that we are providing our patients with the
most appropriate evidence-based therapy for the treatment of this chronic
condition," said Roxanna Balter, nurse practitioner, Heart Failure
Program at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. "Because of the critical
nature of their condition, we take the extra steps to make sure they have
a follow up appointment within one week of discharge. We also call them
after discharge to assist them with any concerns they may have once they
are home. We feel these added measures help patients better manage their
condition and reduce their risk of readmission," she adds.
"We are pleased to recognize Torrance Memorial Medical Center for
their commitment to heart failure care," said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D.,
M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee
and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham
and Women's Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical
School. "Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow
Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients'
length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and also reduce disparity
gaps in care."
According to the American Heart Association, about 5.1 million people suffer
from heart failure. Each year, 670,000 new cases are diagnosed and more
than 275,000 people will die of heart failure. However, many heart failure
patients can lead a full life when their condition is managed with proper
medications and devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.