Press Release

For Immediate Release
Jun 29, 2012
Contact : Donna Sellmann, Manager, Public Relations  
732-840-3279
DSellmann@meridianhealth.com

Meridian Hospitals Receive American Heart Association’s
Gold Award for Cardiac Services

Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Ocean Medical Center recognized for positive outcomes treating heart failure patients  

Neptune, NJ -  Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Ocean Medical Center have received the Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that both medical centers have reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85 percent compliance for at least 24 months to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.
    
Get With The Guidelines is a quality improvement initiative that provides hospital staff with tools that follow proven evidence-based guidelines and procedures in caring for heart failure patients to prevent future hospitalizations.

Under Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure, heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants while in the hospital. They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.

“Meridian Health is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country,” says Vincent Vivona. D.O.,  Chair, Heart Failure Process Improvement for Meridian Cardiovascular Network. “Implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure program will help us accomplish this goal by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcome for these patients.”

The Meridian Cardiovascular Network is committed to providing quality heart care, close to home, by offering everything to diagnose, treat, and mend virtually all heart and vascular conditions. The Network provides patients with the unique integration of services to have the best outcomes and a better patient experience.

“Residents in Ocean and Monmouth counties can have confidence and peace of mind knowing that the region’s experts are dedicated to managing all the complexities of advanced care, right here, close to home,” notes Dr. Vivona.

“The full implementation of national heart failure guideline recommended care is a critical step in preventing recurrent hospitalizations and prolonging the lives of heart failure patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. “The goal of the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like Jersey Shore and Ocean implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients. Published scientific studies are providing us with more and more evidence that Get With The Guidelines works.  Patients are getting the right care they need when they need it.  That’s resulting in improved survival.”

Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure helps the staff at Jersey Shore and Ocean develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes. The program includes quality-improvement measures such as care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders and measurement tools. This quick and efficient use of guideline tools will enable the medical centers to improve the quality of care it provides heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce health care costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.  

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure.  Statistics also show that, each year, 670,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than 277,000 people will die of heart failure.
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About Meridian Health
Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization in New Jersey, comprising Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, and Meridian Partner Companies that include home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, ambulatory care, ambulance services, and outpatient centers. Meridian Health has consistently been rated among the top performing health systems in New Jersey for clinical quality, is one of the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” for three years in a row, and is the recipient of numerous state and national recognitions for patient care and nursing excellence.  Recently, Meridian Health was the only health system in New Jersey to be ranked as one of the most Integrated Healthcare Systems in the nation according to SDI and Modern Healthcare Magazine.  For more information, please visit www.MeridianHealth.com.


About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations.  For more information, visit heart.org/quality.