October 27, 2009


COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) was recognized for its accomplishment in implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines for heart failure with the Silver Performance Achievement Award. This level of attainment shows MRMC’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart disease patients.

“We are dedicated to using proven practices that improve outcomes among our cardiac patients. This commitment has not only resulted in this award, but in Maury Regional being accredited as a chest pain center,” said cardiologist Dan Skarzynski, M.D., who serves as the physician leader along with Martin Chaney, M.D.

This accomplishment signifies that MRMC has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines and recommendations. MRMC has consistently and successfully implemented these quality measures for 90 consecutive days since they began participating in the program.

According to Get With The Guidelines treatment guidelines, patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants in the hospital. They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged.

 “The full implementation of acute and secondary prevention guideline recommended therapy is a critical step in reducing death and disability of cardiovascular disease patients,” said Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., National Chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. “The goal of the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program is to help hospitals like Maury Regional implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce the number of deaths in these patients and in their communities. Maury Regional has achieved a high level of performance in terms of implementing these life-prolonging treatments.”

“Maury Regional Medical Center is dedicated to making our care for heart disease patients among the best in the country. We will continue in our efforts to build off the success achieved with continued implementation of this valuable program,” said Care and Outcomes Coordinator Brenda Hogan, RN. "Get With The Guidelines makes it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcomes of our cardiac patients, and we are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements.”

MRMC’s staff develops and implements acute and secondary prevention guideline processes. The program includes quality improvement measures such as care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders and measurement tools. This quick and efficient use of guideline tools will enable MRMC to improve the quality of care it provides heart disease patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce health care costs by lowering recurrence of events.