UNM Hospital Receives American Heart Association Award

UNM Hospital 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 award is given only to hospitals that achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to allGet With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Quality Achievementindicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and have achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with four of nineGet With The Guidelines-Heart Failure QualityMeasuresto improve quality of patient care and outcomes.

“UNM Hospital 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 Warren Laskey, M.D., Internal Medicine and Division Chief for Cardiology at UNM Hospital. ““This is program truly is the ‘gold-standard’ for hospital-based, cardiac care. It gives our professionals the tools and reports they need to effectively treat our coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke patients.”

Get With the Guidelinesis 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.

UnderGet 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.

“Our goal is always to improve the quality of life and help reduce deaths and disability among patients with heart disease and stroke,” said Marc Malkoff, M.D., director of Neuro Critical Care at UNM Hospital. Among other duties, Malkoff oversees the UNM Interdisciplinary Stroke Response Team to triage patients in the ER for early interventional treatment of suspected stroke cases.

“The UNM Hospital team is to be commended for this commitment to improving the quality of care for their patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., 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’sGet With theGuidelines 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.”

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.

###About Get With The Guidelines


Get With The Guidelines®is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visitheart.org/quality.


Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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