Two Harford County hospitals are among 37 hospitals in Maryland recently recognized by the American Heart Association for their participation in association’s Get With The Guidelines program.
Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air and Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace, both University of Maryland facilities, were recognized for their achievements. The program focuses on quality improvements efforts for heart disease and stroke care. The effort aims to improve patient outcomes, and lower readmissions and lower mortality rates.
The American Heart Association recognized 2,600 hospitals nationally that have used its programs for improvement efforts.
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Both Harford hospitals are longtime participants of the Get With The Guidelines program and their success is a result of consistent processes and great team work between the clinical teams and the community first responders, said Martha Mallonee, director corporate communications, marketing and public relations at UM Upper Chesapeake Health.
“Use of the Get With the Guidelines database, where UM UCH enters our information and then compares it to other programs across the country, allows us to compare and pinpoint continued improvement,” Mallonee said. “Database questions are based on research-based best practices. Upper Chesapeake tracks the effectiveness of the changes we install to improve the overall care of patients who are suffering a stroke or a heart attack.”
Both hospitals currently hold the “Stroke Honor Roll-Elite” distinction, which means that 85% of applicable patients experiencing hospital door to needle (treatment) times of 60 minutes or less, Mallonee said. Known as the “golden hour,” time to treatment is critical, Mallonee said.
Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 5 causes of death in the United States, according to a news release from the American Heart Association. These health issues require swift and proven treatment to get the best outcomes for patients, according to a news release.
“Every 40 seconds, someone in America has a stroke or heart attack,” said Tracy Brazelton, executive director for the American Heart Association in Baltimore and Greater Maryland. “Access to high-quality care is something that everyone should have, and the Get With The Guidelines program helps ensure all patients can access high-quality care amid adversity.”