Jersey Shore University Medical Center Receives American Heart Association's
Get with the Guidelines-Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award

Contact:Robert Cavanaugh, Manager of Public Affairs for Meridian Health
Phone:(732) 751-3451
Email:rcavanaugh@meridianhealth.com

Jersey Shore University Medical Center Receives American Heart Association's
Get with the Guidelines-Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award

Award demonstrates Jersey Shore's commitment to quality care for heart failure patients

Jersey Shore University Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that Jersey Shore University Medical Center has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients according to the guidelines of care recommended by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.

Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure helps Jersey Shore University Medical Center's staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.

"Jersey Shore University Medical Center is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country," said Vincent Vivona, DO, JD, FACP, Chair, Heart Failure Process Improvement for Meridian Cardiovascular Network. "The American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure program helps us to accomplish this goal. This recognition demonstrates that we are on the right track and we're very proud of our team."

Jersey Shore University Medical Center is part of Meridian Cardiovascular Network. Physicians and caregivers in the Network provide people the most complete, most coordinated care in the region from prevention and wellness to diagnosis and treatment through rehabilitation and home services.

The quick and efficient use of guideline procedures can improve the quality of care for heart failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.

"Recent studies show that patients treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure program receive a higher quality of care and may experience better outcomes," 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, Mass. "Jersey Shore University Medical Center's team is to be commended for their commitment to improving the care of their patients."

Following Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure treatment guidelines, heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies if needed, including cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants while in the hospital. Before discharge, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, including lifestyle modifications and follow-up care. Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards.

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. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications and devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

About Meridian Health
Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization in New Jersey, comprising Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, and Meridian Partner Companies that include home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, ambulatory care, ambulance services, and outpatient centers. Meridian Health has consistently been rated among the top performing health systems in New Jersey for clinical quality, is one of the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For" for two years in a row, and is the recipient of numerous state and national recognitions for patient care and nursing excellence. Recently, Meridian Health was the only health system in New Jersey to be ranked as one of the most Integrated Healthcare Systems in the nation according to SDI and Modern Healthcare Magazine. For more information, please visit www.MeridianHealth.com.

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 heart.org/quality.