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Published on November 13, 2008

Mercy receives AHA award for exemplary care of heart attack patients

CEDAR RAPIDS-Mercy Medical Center, 701 10th St. SE, was one of 228 hospitals in the United States recognized by the American Heart Association's Get With The GuidelinesSM (GWTG) program. Mercy received the Gold Performance Award for sustained coronary artery disease care and was recognized this month at the association's annual Scientific Sessions 2008 in New Orleans, LA.

"Mercy's Get With The Guidelines recognition represents a culmination of its focus and commitment to quality patient care using all the available evidence, guidelines and tools," said Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., FAHA, FACC, chairman of the American Heart Association's GWTG steering committee. "Published scientific studies are providing us with more and more evidence that Get With The Guidelines works. "Patients are being treated better and as a result having better survival after a heart attack or heart failure diagnosis."

To achieve gold level recognition, hospitals must reach an aggressive goal of treating patients for at least 24 months with 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care as defined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology's secondary prevention guidelines.

GWTG includes quality-improvement measures, discharge protocols, standing orders and other measurement tools. Providing hospitals with tools that make it easier to follow treatment guidelines has been shown to improve the quality of care provided to heart failure and coronary artery disease patients. This can help save lives and ultimately reduce overall healthcare costs by lowering readmission rates for heart attack and heart failure patients.

A complete list of recognized hospitals will be featured in a December 2008 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

In May 2008, Mercy was also recognized by the American Heart Association's Get With The GuidelinesSM program with a Gold Performance Award for stroke. Mercy will officially receive that award at the AHA International Stroke Conference in Feb. 2009.

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