University of Cincinnati Medical Center
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University of Cincinnati Medical Center recognized by American Heart Association

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CINCINNATI - University of Cincinnati Medical Center received special recognition from the American Heart Association Wednesday for its treatment of patients with heart failure.

The Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure Silver Quality Achievement Award signifies that UC Medical Center has "reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients according to the guidelines of care recommended by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology," according to a press release from the hospital.

Dr. Stephanie Dunlap says the recognition highlights the medical center's commitment to battling heart failure.

"This recognition demonstrates that we are on the right track and I am very proud of our team," according to Dr. Dunlap, medical director of the Heart Failure Treatment and Heart Transplant Program. "We are committed to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country. Our community benefits from having such a dedicated and talented staff right in their own backyards and they are to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of our patients."

According to the American Heart Association website ( ), UC receives the following honors for the its special recognition:

  • Silver Plus quality achievement award recognition certificate
  • Recognition on Get With The Guidelines online web file
  • Silver Plus recognition icon
  • Recognition event participation at Scientific Sessions in November, accompanied by ad listing achievement-award-winning hospitals recognized at the silver plus level for the HF module in the December issue of "Circulation"
  • Recognition event participation at the International Stroke Conference in February, accompanied by ad listing performance-award-winning hospitals recognized at the silver plus level for the Stroke module in the March issue of "Stroke"
  • Other events and ads as determined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

In order to qualify for the distinction a hospital must meet certain guidelines and measures over a period of time. The association offers bronze, silver and gold level distinction based on the period of time a medical center has managed to sustain their performance.

A hospital receives an initial Bronze Performance Award after it demonstrates a commitment to treating heart failure or stroke patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to "core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association" for 90 consecutive days.  A hospital gets the Silver Performance Award for maintaining that level of performance for 12 consecutive months.

The UC Medical Center will reach the Gold level if it maintains the 85 percent-plus rating for 24 consecutive months.

If needed, the medical center says its heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies while in the hospital. This includes cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants. Representatives from the medical center say that before discharge, patients also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, including lifestyle modifications and follow-up care.

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics show that 670,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than 277,000 people will die of heart failure each year.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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