Largo Medical Center May 18, 2016

Largo Medical Center is the only hospital in Tampa Bay to receive the Get With The Guidelines(R)-AFIB Silver Quality Achievement Award* for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology/Heart Rhythm Society guidelines for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation.

Get With The Guidelines-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 by meeting specific quality achievement measures including proper use of medications and aggressive risk reduction therapies, such as safe anticoagulants to prevent stroke. Also evaluated is the usage of medications to stabilize the heart rate and rhythm and other medications needed to treat additional heart disease. Before they are discharged, patients 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 Anthony Degina, CEO, Largo Medical Center.

"We are pleased to recognize Largo Medical Center for their commitment to atrial fibrillation care," said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. "Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program. Get With The Guidelines research has demonstrated the impact of lowering 30-day readmissions and reducing mortality rates."

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.