Delray--Triple Crown Winner 
Tuesday, 08 April 2008 

Delray Medical Center has been recognized as a "triple crown winner" for its achievement in implementing the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The GuidelinesSM for coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure.           

Delray Medical Center received Get With The Guidelines Gold Performance Achievement Awards in coronary artery disease, for stroke and for heart failure.  This triple level of achievement shows Delray Medical Center's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart disease and stroke patients.           

The accomplishment signifies that Delray Medical Center has reached an aggressive goal of treating coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure patients with 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines and recommendations.           

Get With the Guidelines helps ensure that patients treated and discharged receive quality care in accordance with guidelines that will reduce the risk of secondary events.  It takes advantage of the "teachable moment" shortly after a heart attack or stroke when patients are most likely to listen to their healthcare professionals' recommendations.  Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke.           

"Delray Medical Center is dedicated to making its care for heart disease and stroke patients among the best in the country.  We will continue to build upon the success achieved through ongoing implementation of this valuable program," said hospital CEO, Robert Krieger.  "Get With The Guidelines enhances the ability of our professionals to improve the long-term outcomes of cardiac and stroke patients and we are pleased to again be recognized for our achievements.

Delray Medical Center staffers 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. 

Quick, efficient use of guideline tools enable Delray Medical Center to save lives, improve the quality of care it provides heart disease and stroke patients and, ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering recurrence of events.             

According to GWTG treatment guidelines, patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants in the hospital, or in the case of stroke, they may receive TPA, antithrombotics and DVT prohphylaxis.  They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.           

"The full implementation of acute and secondary prevention guideline recommended therapy is a critical step in reducing death and disability of cardiovascular disease patients," said Gregg C Fonarow, M.D., National Chairman of the GWTG Steering Committee and Director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. 

"The goal of the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like Delray Medical Center implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce the number of deaths in these patients and in their communities. Delray Medical Center has achieved a high level of performance in terms of implementing these life-prolonging treatments.          

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, each year approximately 300,000 people suffer a recurrent heart attack, 5.2 million people suffer from heart failure and 700,000 people suffer a stroke.                                       

The coronary artery disease module of Get With The Guidelines is developed with support from an unrestricted educational grant from the Merck/Schering-Plough Pharmaceutical Partnership. Glaxo Smith Kline, Inc. has provided support for Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure.