NHH Receives the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines Gold Performance Achievement Award

The Nebraska Heart Institute Heart Hospital (NHH) has received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines – Coronary Artery Disease (GWTG-CAD) Gold Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes the Heart Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of cardiac care that effectively improves treatment of patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease.

NHH first received the American Heart Associations’ Bronze award in 2005 that demonstrated a minimum of 90 consecutive days of meeting key treatment guidelines. In 2006, NHH received the Silver level award, demonstrating a performance achievement of 12 consecutive months. Since 2007, NHH has received the Gold Performance Achievement each year. The Gold level demonstrates a 24-month period of treating patients with core standard levels of care as outlined by the American heart Association.

“It’s our physicians and staff who are dedicated to making NHH among the best in the country and the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program is helping us accomplish that by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcomes of our patients,” says Tom Burnell, chief executive officer for the Nebraska Heart Institute and Heart Hospital. “Obviously, we are honored to be considered in the top tier for cardiac care, however, it’s our patients and their families who truly benefit from the knowledge and compassion of our staff.”

In compliance with the GWTG-CAD program, 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. Hospitals that receive the GWTG-CAD Gold award have demonstrated for 24 consecutive months that at least 85 percent of its eligible coronary patients (without contraindications) are discharged following the American Heart Association’s recommended treatment guidelines.

According to the AHA, GWTG is designed to improve patient outcomes and saves lives by promoting evidence-based treatment for patients with coronary artery disease. “From the moment we opened our doors in 2003, the Nebraska Heart Hospital has been dedicated to creating successful patient outcomes through innovation and leadership,” says James Wudel, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon with Nebraska Heart. “We are honored with this recognition, but more importantly, this challenges us to continue to raise the bar in how we optimize patient care.”

The American heart Association’s GWTG-CAD program helps hospitals increase the use of and adherence to the association’s secondary prevention guidelines for coronary artery disease. Developed to assist health care professionals follow proven standards and procedures before patients are discharged, GWTG-CAD supports NHH to reduce the risk of recurrent heart attacks and death in treated patients. The program mobilizes teams to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines.

According to the American Heart Association, about every 34 seconds an American will suffer a heart attack with the average age of a person having a first heart attack being 64 for men and 70 for women. Additionally, approximately 610,000 people suffer a new heart attack and 325,000 experience a recurrent heart attack each year.

Nebraska Heart provides unparalleled cardiac, vascular and thoracic care services throughout the region with six offices in Nebraska and visiting more than 40 communities in Nebraska and Kansas. Services include consultative cardiology; nuclear cardiology, electrophysiology, cardiac catheterization, coronary intervention, cardiothoracic and peripheral vascular surgery. The Institute also provides services through its Heart Improvement Program, Women’s Heart Program, Arrhythmia and Syncope Clinic and the Lipid Clinic.

For more information, contact:
J Hoffman
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