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Largo Medical Center Receives American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

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Director of Marketing/Public Relations:
Tammy Robiconti
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April 11, 2013

Largo, FL – Largo Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that Largo Medical Center 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 5th year Largo Medical Center has been recognized with a quality achievement award.

Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure helps Largo Medical Center’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. 

In addition to the Get With The Guideline-Heart Failure award Largo Medical Center has also been recognized as a recipient of the association’s Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll, for improving patient care. Target: Heart Failure is an initiative that provides healthcare professionals with resources and materials designed to help them advance heart failure awareness, prevention, treatment and recovery. Hospitals are required to meet criteria that optimizes and improves medication adherence, provides early follow-up care and coordination and enhances patient education. The goal is to reduce hospital re-admissions and help patients improve their quality of life in managing this chronic condition

“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. “Largo Medical Center’s 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.

“Largo Medical Center 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 Anthony Degina, CEO of Largo Medical Center. “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.

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