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ECMC receives American Heart Associationís Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure
Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award


BUFFALO, NEW YORK; DECEMBER 9, 2013 - Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.  The recognition signifies that ECMC has reached an exceptional goal of treating heart failure patients according to the guidelines of care recommended by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.

This marks the eighth year that ECMC has been recognized with a quality achievement award. 

Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure helps ECMC's staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes.  The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance. 

The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks. 

"Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart association's Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes," said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. "The ECMC team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients." 

Following Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure treatment guidelines, heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies if needed, including cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants while in the hospital.  Before discharge, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, including lifestyle modifications and follow-up care.  Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards. 

"ECMC is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country.  The American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure program helps us to accomplish this goal," said Jody L. Lomeo, CEO, ECMC Corporation.  "This recognition demonstrates that we are on the right track and we're very proud of our team." 

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure.  Statistics also show that, each year, 670,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than 277,000 people will die of heart failure.  However, many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications and devices and with healthy lifestyle changes. 

About Get With The Guidelines: Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart association/American Stroke Association's hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations.  For more information, visit heart.org/quality.

About Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation:  The ECMC Corporation includes an advanced academic medical center (ECMC) with 550 inpatient beds, on- and off-campus health centers, more than 30 outpatient specialty care services and Terrace View, a 390-bed long-term care facility.  ECMC is the regional center for trauma, burn care, behavioral health services, transplantation, and rehabilitation and is a major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo.  Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the university and/or members of a private practice plan.  More Western New York residents are choosing ECMC for exceptional patient care and patient experiences-the difference between healthcare and true careTM. 

CONTACT:  Joe Cirillo at 716-898-4300 -or- jcirillo@ecmc.edu

12/11/2013

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