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Awards and Accreditations

BMC Heart Failure Program Honored Nationally
June 3, 2011

For Immediate Release
Berkshire Medical Center Receives Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award: Award demonstrates BMC’s commitment to quality care for heart failure patients

PITTSFIELD, MA – Berkshire Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association for its excellence in the treatment of patients with heart failure. This is the sixth straight year that BMC has been recognized with a Performance Achievement Award by the American Heart Association for heart failure, and BMC was the first hospital in the nation to be honored for heart failure six years ago.

This is the latest in a continuous string of honors for BMC from the American Heart Association, which has also recognized the Medical Center nine years in a row for the care of patients with coronary artery disease and for seven consecutive years for the care of stroke patients.

“Berkshire Medical Center’s heart failure team is to be commended for this commitment to improving the quality of care for their patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, 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. “The goal of the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program is to help healthcare providers implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and death and improve the quality of life for 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.”

“BMC is dedicated to being among the top hospitals nationwide in the care of heart failure patients and implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure program is helping us accomplish this goal by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcome for our patients,” said Gray Ellrodt, MD, BMC Chief Quality Officer and Chairman, Department of Medicine.

The heart failure award is given only to hospitals that achieve 85% or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and have achieved 75% or higher compliance with four of nine Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Quality Measures to improve quality of patient care and outcomes.

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 improve outcomes, prevent future hospitalizations and prolong life.

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 in the hospital. They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.

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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