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AHN Hospitals Receive National Recognition for Quality of Heart Failure Treatment

Thursday, August 15, 2019

PITTSBURGH, Pa– Six Allegheny Health Network (AHN) hospitals have received national recognition for delivering high quality heart failure treatment. In this year’s American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines®-- Heart Failure Achievement Awards, Allegheny General (AGH), Forbes, Jefferson and Allegheny Valley (AVH) hospitals received Gold Plus designations, while Saint Vincent (SVH) and West Penn hospitals received Silver Plus awards.

The Get With The Guidelines—Heart Failure awards program helps to ensure hospital teams are providing the most up-to-date, evidence-based standards of care with the goal of improving the outcomes of patients with heart failure and reducing hospital readmissions. According to the CDC, heart failure affects nearly 6 million Americans annually.

“Heart failure impacts millions across the country every year, and it continues to be the leading cause of death in Pennsylvania, behind cancer and stroke. As these numbers rise, it’s crucial that our programs continue to deliver high quality care by adhering to nationally-recognized guidelines and protocols,” said Srinivas Murali, MD, Co-chair, AHN Cardiovascular Institute and Chairman, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at AHN. “It’s extremely gratifying to be recognized year after year by the AHA for our success in treating heart failure as it further reflects our team’s commitment to delivering exceptional care to  patients when they need it most.”

Hospitals receiving Gold Plus achievement have reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the AHA for a period of 24 consecutive months. Silver Plus hospitals have met those goals for 12 consecutive months. Additionally, Gold Plus and Silver Plus hospitals have demonstrated 75 percent or higher compliance to a self-selected group of quality measures.

The guidelines focus on several core quality measures, including the proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies, such as ACE inhibitors, ARBs, beta blockers, diuretics, anticoagulants, and other appropriate interventions. Prior to discharge, the guidelines also call for patient education on managing heart failure and overall health, the scheduling of follow-up physician appointments, and other care transition interventions.

AGH, Forbes, Saint Vincent and West Penn hospitals also earned spots on the Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll, an AHA recognition of hospitals that meet the highest of standards in improving medication adherence, providing early follow-up care and coordination and enhancing patient education.

Numerous studies have shown that by following the Get With The Guidelines measures, hospitals can optimize a patient’s length of stay in the hospital and reduce both 30-day readmission rates and disparity gaps in care.

This July, five AHN hospitals also received the AHA/ASA Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Achievement Awards. AGH, Forbes, Jefferson and Saint Vincent hospitals each received the AHA/ASA Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award while AVH earned the Silver Plus Achievement Award. AHN’s stroke programs are all integrated into the AHN Cerebrovascular Center, which provides a full spectrum of medical, surgical and rehabilitative care for patients who experience a stroke.

For more information on the AHN Cardiovascular Institute, visit: