The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) has received the Get With The GuidelinesÂ®â€“Heart Failure Silver Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that Bay Pines VAHCS has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients according to the guidelines of care recommended by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.
Following Get With The Guidelinesâ€“Heart Failure treatment guidelines can improve the quality of care for heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks. 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.
"Bay Pines is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country. The American Heart Associationâ€™s Get With The Guidelines â€“ Heart Failure program helps us to accomplish this goal," said Teresa Kumar, Associate Director for Patient Care and Nursing Services. "This recognition demonstrates that we are on the right track and weâ€™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.