News Center

Thursday, May 28, 2009

St. Francis Hospital earns national recognition for heart failure treatment

INDIANAPOLIS – St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers was recognized for its achievement in implementing the American Heart Association’s/American Stroke Association’s programs to treat coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure.

St. Francis received the Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Bronze Performance Achievement. The recognition also means that St. Francis attained an aggressive goal of treating patients for at least 90 days with 85 percent compliance to the core standard levels outlined by the AHA and American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.

“The Get With The Guidelines is a quality improvement initiative that provides hospital staff with tools that follow proven evidence-based guidelines and procedures in caring for heart failure patients and to prevent future hospitalizations,” said Michael Hertel, executive director of the St. Francis Heart Center. “We are honored that our staff has been recognized for this achievement.”

Previously St. Francis received both the bronze and silver awards for its achievements in the area of coronary artery disease (acute myocardial infarction) from the AHA.

According to the GWTG-Heart Failure treatment guidelines, patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants upon their arrival at the hospital. They also receive tobacco cessation and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before their discharge.

“Full implementation of national heart failure guideline-recommended care is a critical step in preventing recurrent hospitalizations and prolonging the lives of patients,” said Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., national chairman of the GWTG Steering Committee and director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. “The goal of our program is to help hospitals like St. Francis implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols to reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients.”

According to the AHA, about 300,000 people annually suffer a recurrent heart attack, 5.2 million experience heart failure and 700,000 are stricken by stroke.

To learn more about the services provided at the St. Francis Heart Center, go to, or