Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point receives recognition from the American Heart Association for turning guidelines into lifelines

HUDSON, FL. July, 2010 — Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point is one of only three Florida hospitals and the only Tampa Bay area hospital recognized for achieving Triple Gold Recognition in all three areas in implementing the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® for coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure.

Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point has received the Get With The Guidelines Gold Achievement Award in coronary artery disease, the Gold Plus Achievement Award for stroke and Gold Plus Achievement Award heart failure. This level of achievement shows Regional Medical Center’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 Regional 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 Get With The Guidelines 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.

Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point has consistently and successfully implemented these quality measures for 36 consecutive months since they 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 Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “The goal of the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce the number of deaths in these patients and in their communities. Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point 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 about 785,000 Americans will have a new heart attack and about 470,000 will have a recurrent attack. It’s estimated that an additional 195,000 silent heart attacks occur each year, 5.8 million people suffer from heart failure and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurring stroke.

“Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point 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 Steve Rector, CEO. “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.”

Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point’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 Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point 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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