Get With The Guidelines program dramatically improves care

After one year Get With The GuidelinesSM programs used in hospitals significantly improved care for almost 30,000 coronary artery disease patients of all ages and sexes, according to research reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2005.

"Men and women, young and old, all showed dramatic improvements in care," said Gray Ellrodt, M.D., lead author of the study and chair of the department of medicine at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass., and a professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts in Worcester, Mass.

The American Heart Association developed Get With The Guidelines, a quality improvement program that encourages hospitals to consistently treat and discharge patients according to evidence-based guidelines. Get With The Guidelines is designed to close the treatment gap and reduce disparities in the acute care and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

"We feel the program has become more refined over time. We know hospitals that participate for more than two years get even better at it. So we are going to continue following these patients to see if further improvements occur. The beauty of Get With The Guidelines is that it tries to take away the bias that is built into the medical system for some unknown reason."

Get With The GuidelinesCoronary Artery Disease (GWTGCAD) is a Web-based continuous quality improvement program that:

  • Provides care teams with instant access to data to guide their treatment decisions.
  • Prints American Heart Association pamphlets on CAD care so patients get educational materials immediately.
  • Sends quarterly reports to hospitals and care teams on how well they're meeting key treatment goals set by American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines.

For the study, researchers assessed data from 198 hospitals and 29,713 patients, using a composite performance measure that included asp

Contact: Carole Bullock or Karen Astle
American Heart Association

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