American Heart Association Lauds Strong Memorial

Hospital Earns Top Award for Consistent Excellence

November 14, 2008

For the second time in just four months, the American Heart Association has recognized Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester Medical Center for excellent cardiac care.

Strong Memorial is the only hospital in the region to receive the 2008 ACTION Registry – Get With The Guidelines Silver Performance Achievement Award, and is one of only 93 hospitals in the nation to receive this top honor. The award recognizes those hospitals that consistently treat patients with heart attacks according to guidelines established by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (AHA). This includes aggressively using medications like cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin and anticoagulants. To qualify for the Silver Performance Award, hospitals must comply with the guidelines at least 85 percent of the time for at least one year.

This prestigious award recognizes the hard work of the URMC cardiac care team and their continued efforts to provide the most state-of-the-art cardiac care to patients, said Richard M. Pomerantz, M.D., professor of Medicine and chief of Clinical Cardiology.

“By breaking down our processes, initiating improvements and tracking our outcomes, we have been able to continue to provide excellent, high-quality, safe and efficient care to our cardiac patients,” Pomerantz said. “For instance, our outstanding ‘door-to-balloon’ times – opening a blocked artery for the rapid treatment of heart attack patients – is one of many examples of how this team-oriented approach has allowed us to continue to remain in the select company of these award recipients, the top cardiac programs in the country.”

The awards were announced during this week’s annual AHA Scientific Sessions conference in New Orleans. Get With The Guidelines is the AHA 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.

In July, the AHA honored Strong Memorial Hospital with a Triple Performance Achievement Award for meeting its high standards for coronary artery disease, heart failure, and stroke. Strong was the only Rochester-area hospital to receive that honor, and the only Rochester-area hospital to receive any level of AHA recognition for its coronary artery disease and heart failure care.

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Karin Christensen
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