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Monday, September 14, 2020

Six AHN Hospitals Receive American Heart Association’s Top Honor for Quality of Heart Failure Treatment

COVID-19 Brings New Challenges, Greater Urgency for Standardized, Best Practices in Heart Care  

Pittsburgh, Pa (Sept. 14, 2020) – Six Allegheny Health Network (AHN) hospitals continue to receive national recognition for delivering the highest quality of heart failure treatment. In this year’s American Heart Association (AHA) Get With The Guidelines®-- Heart Failure Achievement Awards, Allegheny General (AGH), Forbes, Jefferson, Allegheny Valley (AVH), Saint Vincent (SVH) and West Penn hospitals received Gold Plus designations, a milestone for the AHN Cardiovascular Institute with each hospital earning the highest level of achievement.

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 readmission rates.

“On behalf of AHN, we applaud the outstanding care delivered by our clinicians, and this most recent achievement award is a testament to their unmatched commitment and dedication to our patients throughout the region,” said Srinivas Murali, MD, System Chairman Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at AHN. “Amid the covid-19 pandemic, now more than ever, it's critical to diligently follow established, evidence-based practices to help ensure heart failure patients receive the best and most innovative care possible so that they can experience the best clinical outcomes.”

Most recently, a JAMA Cardiology study found that among 100 adults who recovered from covid-19, 78 percent showed some type of cardiac involvement in MRI scans and 60 percent had ongoing inflammation in the heart which could result in cardiac dysfunction, and potentially heart failure.

“As the clinical community continues to better understand how covid-19 impacts the heart, we’re learning that it may be a long journey to a full recovery for a significant number of affected patients,” said Chong Park, MD, president of AHN’s Jefferson and Canonsburg Hospitals and a cardiothoracic surgeon. “By adhering to guideline-directed medical therapies and practices, we’ll only continue our legacy of providing exceptional cardiac care that minimizes lengths of stay in the hospital and decreases readmission rates by improving patient education, rehabilitation and well-being.”

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

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 and have demonstrated 75 percent or higher compliance to a self-selected group of quality measures.

“Heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization, and can have a devastating impact on lives, on families, and even on communities,” said Mark Izzo, MD, vice chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at AHN’s Saint Vincent hospital. “That’s why it’s so important to have well-coordinated, standardized clinical care pathways across Allegheny Health Network to help improve overall patient outcomes and quality of life. We are proud of our team’s excellent work in helping us achieve this recognition.”

All AHN 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.

For more information on the AHN Cardiovascular Institute, visit: https://www.ahn.org/cardiovascular

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