University Hospitals Case Medical Center recognized by American Heart Association

August 26, 2008

CLEVELAND -- University Hospitals Case Medical Center has been recognized for its achievement in implementing the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The GuidelinesSM for coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke.

University Hospitals Case Medical Center (UHCMC) has received the Get With The Guidelines Gold Performance Achievement Award in coronary artery disease, Silver Performance Achievement Award in heart failure, and Bronze Performance Achievement Award for stroke. This level of achievement shows UHCMC's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart disease and stroke patients.

Get With The Guidelines helps ensure that patients treated and discharged receive quality care in accordance with guidelines that will reduce the risk of secondary events. It takes advantage of the "teachable moment," the time soon after a heart attack or stroke, when patients are most likely to listen to their healthcare professionals' treatment recommendations. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke.

This accomplishment signifies that UHCMC has reached an aggressive goal of treating coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure patients with 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines and recommendations.

According to GWTG treatment guidelines, patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants in the hospital, or in the case of stroke, they may receive tPA, antithrombotics and DVT prophylaxis. They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.

UHCMC has consistently and successfully implemented these quality measures for four years coronary artery disease, 12 consecutive months in heart failure, and 90 days in stroke since it began participating in the program.

"The full implementation of acute and secondary prevention guideline recommended therapy is a critical step in reducing death and disability of cardiovascular disease patients," said Gregg C Fonarow, M.D., National Chairman of the GWTG Steering Committee and Director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. "The goal of the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like University Hospitals Case Medical Center implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce the number of deaths in these patients and in their communities. University Hospitals has achieved a high level of performance in terms of implementing these life-prolonging treatments."

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, each year approximately 300,000 people suffer a recurrent heart attack, 5.2 million people suffer from heart failure and 700,000 people suffer a stroke. "University Hospitals Case Medical Center is dedicated to making our care for heart disease and stroke patients among the best in the country. We will continue in our efforts to build off the success achieved with continued implementation of this valuable program," said Nathan Levitan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at University Hospitals. "Get With The Guidelines makes it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcomes of our cardiac and stroke patients, and we are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements."

UHCMC's staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes. The program includes quality improvement measures such as care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders and measurement tools. This quick and efficient use of guideline tools will enable UHCMC to improve the quality of care it provides heart disease and stroke patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering recurrence of events.
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University Hospitals Vision 2010: Shaping the Future of Health Care for Our Community

At University Hospitals (UH) our mission To Heal, To Teach, To Discover has inspired our leadership in patient care for more than 140 years. In 2005, UH launched Vision 2010, a plan that delivers an unparalleled patient and family experience through new and enhanced facilities and with careful consideration to the communities' demographics. Vision 2010 represents investments of more than $1.2 billion over five years and reaffirms a strong commitment to UH Case Medical Center (UHCMC) in Cleveland's University Circle, along with new construction and enhancements to our suburban ambulatory centers throughout Northeast, Ohio.

Vision 2010 includes the Ahuja Medical Center to serve Cleveland's east-side communities; a campus transformation at UHCMC which includes a new, free-standing Cancer Hospital; the Adult Center for Emergency Medicine and Marcy R. Horvitz Pediatric Emergency Center; and the Quentin & Elisabeth Alexander Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital.

The Vision 2010 plan for the future also includes more than $100 million in technological enhancements, including system-wide electronic health records to enhance efficiencies and patient safety. The new facilities and the operations that will take place within them represent the creation of a technologically advanced, healing environment that will come to provide the safest and most compassionate care available.

About University Hospitals

With 150 locations throughout Northeast Ohio, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of hospitals, outpatient centers and primary care physicians. At the core of our Health System is University Hospitals Case Medical Center. The primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research centers of excellence in the nation and the world, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics and spine, radiology and radiation oncology, neurosurgery and neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, organ transplantation and human genetics. Its main campus includes the internationally celebrated Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked best in the Midwest and first in the nation for the care of critically ill newborns; MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and Ireland Cancer Center, which holds the nation's highest designation by the National Cancer Institute of Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information, go to www.uhhospitals.org

University Hospitals of Cleveland

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