Largo Medical Center September 15, 2015

Largo Medical Center is proud to be the first hospital in the Tampa Bay area to receive the Get With The Guidelines(R)-AFIB Bronze Quality Achievement Award during Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month. The award was presented today to hospital CEO, Anthony Degina, recognizing the outstanding achievements of Largo Medical Center in implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology/Heart Rhythm Society. The award was presented during an AFib educational seminar in front of a large crowd at the hospital.

Get With The Guidelines-Heart AFIB was developed to assist healthcare professionals to provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for patients with atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke and other complications. Largo Medical Center earned the award for meeting specific quality achievement measures at a set level for a designated period. These measures include proper use of medications and aggressive risk reduction therapies such as safe anticoagulants to prevent stroke. Also evaluated is the use of medications to stabilize the heart rate and rhythm and other medications needed to treat additional heart disease. Before they are discharged, patients also receive education on managing their condition and stroke risk, counseling if needed, and plans on follow-up care.

"Largo Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients with atrial fibrillation, and implementing the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-AFIB program helps us accomplish this goal by tracking and measuring our success in meeting internationally-respected clinical guidelines," said Largo Medical Center Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Degina.

"We are pleased to recognize Largo Medical Center for their commitment to atrial fibrillation 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, more than 2.7 million adults suffer from atrial fibrillation. The condition accounts for about one-third of hospitalizations for cardiac rhythm disturbance and is associated with a five-fold increase risk of stroke. Proper treatment of atrial fibrillation can reduce these risks.

Dr. Ronald Walsh, Cardiologist, Tony Degina, CEO and Amanda Leber, American Heart Association