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University Heart earns national recognition for patient care

Published on Thursday, August 19, 2010

Published in Press Releases on August 19, 2010 (PDF)

The University of Mississippi Medical Center has been recognized for achievement in using evidence-based guidelines to provide the best possible care to patients through The American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines® program.

UMMC and 814 other hospitals are featured in a special advertisement in the "America's Best Hospitals" issue of US News & World Report (August issue) to commemorate their receipt of Get With The Guidelines Performance Achievement Awards. UMMC earned the Gold Performance Achievement Award in treatment for heart failure and coronary artery disease, the only hospital in the state to receive that distinction.

The latest award adds to the accolades for University Heart, a part of University of Mississippi Health Care. Earlier this year, the American Heart Association awarded University Heart its Mission: Lifeline Bronze Performance Achievement Award in recognition of the commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of cardiac care that effectively improves survival from the deadliest type of heart attack.

 "We are proud to have our efforts to provide high quality heart care receive this national recognition. This award is the result of the immense dedication and hard work by our entire University Heart team of physicians, nurses and staff," said Dr. Michael Winniford, co-director of University Heart.

Get With The Guidelines is a hospital-based quality-improvement program designed to ensure that hospitals consistently care for cardiac and stroke patients following the most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations. The program addresses coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke, and the goal of this initiative is to improve the quality of life and help reduce deaths and disability among patients with heart disease and stroke.

Currently more than 1,400 hospitals participate in the program. A total of 961 awards were given for achievement in coronary artery disease, stroke and/or heart failure treatment.

Hospitals recognized in each category achieve at least 85 percent compliance to Get With The Guidelines measures. Those achieving 85 percent compliance for 24 consecutive months receive the Gold Performance Achievement Award.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's advertisement recognizes UMMC's commitment and success in performance achievement.

"It reflects consistency of care," said David Turner, University Heart care coordinator, who maintains the ACTION Registry/Get With the Guidelines Program database.

"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," said Dr. Lee Schwamm, national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and vice chairman of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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, visit