Fairview Hospital has become one of the first in the Cleveland area to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a Get With The Guidelines – Coronary Artery Disease hospital. A hospital-based program, Get With The Guidelines is designed to improve outcomes for coronary artery disease patients.
“The guidelines assist physicians and staff in modifying patient risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity,” says Sudhakar Chandurkar, M.D., cardiologist at the Fairview Heart Center. Created by the American Heart Association (AHA), these secondary prevention guidelines are also endorsed by the American College of Cardiology.
Get With The Guidelines incorporates a multi-disciplinary approach to risk factor management, encouraging communication and teamwork among cardiologists, primary care physicians, nurses and pharmacists. “Fairview Hospital is dedicated to making the Fairview Heart Center among the best in the county,” says Praful Maroo, M.D., chief of cardiology and director of the Fairview Heart Center. Dr. Maroo credits Dr. Chandurkar for leading the effort in implementing the AHA’s guidelines at Fairview Hospital.
Under the guidelines, physicians use aggressive risk-reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, to reduce the incidence of recurrent heart attacks. Through this program, the Fairview Heart Center will offer cardiac patients improved quality of care, save lives and reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks. Projections have shown that nationwide, more than 80,000 lives could be saved each year if all hospitals followed these guidelines.
A key component of the program lies in monitoring progress through data analysis. The AHA’s Data Tool is an online, interactive reporting and assessment system. “The online tool enables physicians to compare patient data and treatments against the national benchmark,” says Chandurkar. The goal of the AHA’s guidelines is to provide medical professionals with resources for translating secondary prevention knowledge into clinical practice.
When starting the program at Fairview Hospital, which was supported by a $5,000 grant from the Fairview/Lutheran Foundation, Dr. Chandurkar also counted on the support of K.V. Gopal, M.D., chairman, Department of Medicine, who guided him in gathering the financial resources and physician support needed to make the program a success.
Fairview Heart Center initiated the Get With The Guidelines program in 2002, monitoring data fro 267 coronary artery disease patients, with the majority of those having experienced their first heart attack. Fairview Hospital believes that the enforcement of the American Heart Association’s guidelines will significantly reduce recurrent heart attack risks for cardiac patients.
To reach a Fairview Heart Center cardiologist or cardiothoracic surgeon call the Fairview Heart Center at 216.476.9950
Article originally appeared in the Fairview Hospital’s Heart Center Cardiac Chronicle newsletter.