Get With The Guidelines 
 
Thursday, 01 March 2007 
 
 
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Delray Medical Center has been recognized for significant achievement in implementing an American Heart Association and American Stroke Association program, Get With The GuidelinesSM.  The program helps ensure the care hospitals provide for coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure is aligned with the latest scientific guidelines.            

The hospital received the annual Get With The Guidelines Achievement Award in three categories: coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure.  This level of achievement demonstrates Delray Medical Center’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart disease and stroke patients.            

“Delray Medical Center is committed to making its care for heart disease and stroke patients among the best in the country and we will continue our efforts to build upon the success achieved with continued implementation of this valuable program,” said CEO Robert Krieger.  “Get With The Guidelines makes it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcomes of our cardiac and stroke patients, and we are pleased to be recognized for our ongoing dedication and achievements.”            

Get With the Guidelines helps ensure 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,” time soon after an acute event, when patients are most likely to listen to their healthcare professionals’ treatment recommendations.  Studies demonstrate that patients taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke.             

The recognition signifies 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.  Under the protocols, 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 and referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.

“Full implementation of acute and secondary prevention guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives of patients,” said Gray Ellrodt, M.D., chairman of the GWTG Steering Committee.  “The aim of the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals implement appropriate evidence-based guidelines for care and protocols that will reduce the number of deaths in these patients and in their communities.  Delray Medical Center is well above the national average in terms of implementing these life-saving treatments.”            

According to the American Heart Association, each year more than 450,000 people suffer a recurrent heart attack, about five million people suffer from heart failure and about 700,000 people suffer a stroke. 

Delray Medical Center’s staff develops and implements acute and secondary prevention guideline processes that include quality improvement measures such as care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders and measurement tools.  This quick and efficient use of guideline tools enables the hospital to improve the quality of care it provides heart disease and stroke patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering recurrence of events.  

Delray Medical Center, a 493-bed acute care hospital located at 5352 Linton Boulevard in Delray Beach, has been serving the health care needs of south and central Palm Beach County for more than 20 years. A state-designated Level II Trauma Center for adults and children, Delray Medical Center offers a broad array of specialized services, ranging from acute care to rehabilitation, and psychiatric services to outpatient care.   According to HealthGrades, Delray Medical Center is one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for 2007, recipient of the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence for five consecutive years (2003-2007), and the Cardiac Care Excellence Award for three consecutive years (2005, 2006, 2007).   To learn more about Delray Medical Center, visit www.delraymedicalctr.com.