American Heart Association recognizes UTHCT for its care of cardiac and stroke patients

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler is one of just 118 hospitals in the United States to be recognized for its care of cardiac and stroke patients by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s “Get With the Guidelines” program.

Get With the Guidelines is a quality-improvement program that helps hospitals ensure that patients with coronary artery disease, heart failure, and stroke consistently receive care that meets the latest guidelines and recommendations. UTHSCT received the program’s Performance Achievement Award for Coronary Artery Disease on Monday, Nov. 13, at Scientific Sessions 2006 in Chicago, a professional conference sponsored by the AHA.

“This special recognition by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association highlights the quality of health care provided by our medical staff. It is an acknowledgement of their dedication to fulfilling our mission of providing excellent patient care,” UTHSCT President Dr. Kirk A. Calhoun said.

To qualify for recognition, hospitals must treat and discharge at least 85 percent of their cardiac or stroke patients using the latest American Heart Association and American Stroke Association guidelines. Each hospital is evaluated using criteria based on medical data showing the best way to treat these conditions. According to the AHA, 80,000 lives could be saved each year if the guidelines for coronary artery disease patients were implemented nationwide.

“The Health Center is dedicated to ensuring heart and stroke patients receive the best and most up-to-date care. Get With the Guidelines is helping us accomplish that goal by making it easier for our professionals to improve the quality of care and the long-term outcomes of our cardiac patients,” said Sandra Fly, RN, director of Quality Services at UTHSCT and a certified professional in health care quality.

Gregg C. Fonarow, MD, volunteer chairman for the AHA program’s steering committee, said, “Get With the Guidelines is about saving lives, so the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association wanted to recognize UTHSCT’s contribution to quality care at Scientific Sessions 2006, the largest meeting of cardiac professionals in the United States. We are proud of UTHSCT’s efforts to implement these lifesaving treatments and want to highlight UTHSCT’s accomplishments.”

The Health Center and the other hospitals will also be recognized in the December issue of the journal Circulation.

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