The University of Alabama at Birmingham Cardiovascular Institute has received four prestigious awards from the American Heart Association for its commitment to improving outcomes for patients with heart failure through reduced readmissions and more healthy days at home.
The awards include Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure Gold Plus, Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center Gold Plus, Target: Type 2 Diabetes, and Target Heart Failure Honor Roll.
Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure Quality Achievement Award
About 6.2 million Americans are living with heart failure, which occurs when the heart is having a hard time pumping blood and oxygen throughout the body. While there is no cure for heart failure, patients can live a quality life by working with their health care team to create and stick with a plan that may include medication, symptom monitoring and lifestyle changes.
The Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure quality achievement award is earned by hospitals that demonstrate a commitment to treating patients according to the most up-to-date guidelines as outlined by the American Heart Association. Get With The Guidelines helps ensure patient care is aligned with the latest research and evidence-based guidelines. The program aims to increase healthy days at home and reduce hospital readmissions for heart failure patients.
“At UAB, we are always committed to taking steps to ensure that each of our patients can have the best quality of life,” said Allison Dillon, Ph.D., quality improvement registered nurse at UAB Hospital. “Although heart failure is a chronic condition, our goal is to work with our patients and provide them with the resources and care they need to live the longest, healthiest lives possible.”
Each year, program participants qualify for the award recognition by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for heart failure patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, Get With The Guidelines participants also provide education to patients to help them manage their condition at home.
Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center Gold Plus Award
Every year, more than 250,000 people suffer from an ST elevation myocardial infarction heart attack, which is the deadliest type of heart attack and is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart. This type of heart attack requires timely treatment to prevent major damage to the heart.
UAB’s STEMI program received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center Gold Plus Award for implementing specific quality-improvement measures to treat patients who suffer from severe heart attacks. Recognition as a Mission: Lifeline Receiving Center is designed to showcase hospitals that provide 24/7 support for STEMI patients. These important facilities coordinate with a network of referring hospitals and emergency medical services to provide guideline-directed STEMI and NSTEMI care.
“Through our STEMI program, we take the necessary steps to reduce barriers to prompt treatment,” said Melesia Goolsby, R.N., MSN, quality improvement coordinator at UAB’s Heart and Vascular Center Adult Cardiac Catheterization Lab. “Time is muscle when it comes to the heart, so we have implemented multiple initiatives that allow our team to be more efficient and reduce our treatment times substantially.”
This award is earned by hospitals that demonstrate a commitment to treating patients according to the most up-to-date research-based guidelines for STEMI care as outlined by the American Heart Association.
Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll
UAB Hospital is also recognized on the American Heart Association’s Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll. Hospitals on the Honor Roll meet specific criteria that improve medication adherence, provide early follow-up care and coordination, and enhance patient education. The goal is to further reduce hospital readmissions and help patients improve their quality of life in managing this chronic condition.
Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll™ Award
UAB Hospital additionally received the American Heart Association’s Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll™ award. This program aims to ensure patients with Type 2 diabetes, who might be at higher risk for complications, receive the most up-to-date, evidence-based care when hospitalized due to heart disease or stroke.
“It is such an honor to be recognized by the American Heart Association,” said Robert Holmes, director of the Office of Regulatory Services at UAB Hospital. “We are so appreciative of our physicians, advanced practice providers and supporting staff who play a role every day in UAB’s commitment to providing quality, evidence-based care to each of our patients with heart disease.”
For more information, visit heart.org.