July 27, 2019–11:42 p.m.
For the second consecutive year, Polk Medical Center has received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring heart failure patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines. The goal is speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients.
“We are dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients with heart failure,” said Tifani Kinard, Administrator and Chief Nursing Officer at Polk Medical Center. “Our partnership with the American Heart Association and the tools and resources they provide help us track and measure our success in meeting guidelines developed to best improve patient outcomes.”
Polk earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies. Before being sent home, patients should also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, as well as having a follow-up visit scheduled.
“We are pleased to recognize Polk Medical Center for their commitment to heart failure care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice-Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get with the Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”
This honor is the latest in a string of awards Polk Medical Center has received recently, including its recognition as a Top Rural Hospital by The Leapfrog Group. The award recognizes the hospital’s accomplishments in patient safety and quality care and is widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive honors American hospitals can receive from Leapfrog, an independent hospital watchdog organization.
“These honors can only be achieved when you have a team that shares a commitment to providing the highest quality of care, and there’s no question that ours does,” Kinard said. “This would not have been possible without the tremendous amount of work they’ve put forth.”
According to the American Heart Association, more than 6.5 million adults in the United States are living with heart failure. Many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications or devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.