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Awards and Accreditations

BMC Achieves 7th Consecutive Award for Heart Failure Care
July 16, 2012

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 marks seven consecutive years that BMC has achieved Gold status for heart failure.

This 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.

“The team at Berkshire Medical Center is to be commended for this commitment to improving the quality of care for their patients,” said Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, 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 committed 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 Dr. Gray Ellrodt, Chief Quality Officer and Chairman of the Department of Medicine.

Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure helps BMC’s staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes. The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, decision support, robust registry, real-time benchmarking capabilities and other performance improvement methodologies toward the goal of enhancing patient outcomes and saving lives.

This high-tech, evidence-based approach enables BMC to improve the quality of care it provides heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by avoiding re-hospitalization.

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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