Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas Recognized for Quality, Evidence-based Heart Disease Care
08/04/2008

DALLAS — The American Heart Association has recognized Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas for providing quality, evidence-based care to heart disease patients.

Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas was one of the only Dallas-based hospitals recognized this year. Honored medical centers were featured in an advertisement in the July 21st “America’s Best Hospitals” issue of US News & World Report.

The award is part of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s "Get With The Guidelines"SM, 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 provides three modules that address coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke.

Upon meeting each module’s criteria, hospitals are recognized if at least 85 percent of their cardiac or stroke patients are treated and discharged according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s recommendations.

“This program is about consistently treating heart and stroke patients according to the most up-to-date guidelines recommended by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association,” said Dr. John Harper, a cardiologist on the medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas and director of the hospital’s new Congestive Heart Failure Unit. “This award recognizes that we’re providing a high level of care to our patients. We’re honored by the recognition.”

Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, chairman of the Get With the Guidelines program and director of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center, said as many as 80,000 lives could be saved annually if just the coronary artery disease module, for which Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas was recognized for consistent achievement, was implemented nationwide.

“This program makes it easier for hospitals like Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas to provide appropriate evidence-based care and ultimately improve the quality of life and help reduce the number of deaths in these heart and stroke patients,” Fonarow said.

Coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke — which together make up cardiovascular disease — remain the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in both men and women in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. Patients hospitalized with a cardiovascular event are at particularly high risk for recurrent events, hospitalizations and cardiovascular death.

“Fortunately, there are a number of evidence based therapies that have proven to significantly improve outcomes and reduce reoccurrence,” Harper said. The Get With the Guidelines Program was developed to provide hospitals with a systematic approach to measure and improve the quality of care.

The program includes evidence based tools to ensure patients are initiated and discharged on appropriate medications and with risk modification counseling, according to Fonarow. The initiative uses a web-based patient management tool and collaborative learning sessions in which hospital teams exchange best practices and learn rapid cycle improvement strategies.

About Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas
Established in 1966, PHD is a flagship hospital of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system. US News and World Report ranks PHD, a recognized clinical program leader, providing technologically advanced care to patients, among the nation’s best hospitals in digestive disorders, orthopedics, and neurology and neurosurgery. The 866-bed facility has approximately 4,000 employees and an active medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians. For more information about PHD, visit www.PHSCare.org.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR’s system of 13 hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System, and a medical research organization. THR is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.texashealth.org.