July 31, 2009


COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) has received the Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure Bronze Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.


“We are committed to providing leading-edge heart intervention services and treating patients according to the most up-to-date guidelines, which helps ensure better outcomes. This award recognizes that we’re providing a high level of care to our patients—and that we’re doing it consistently,” said Deborah Lumpkins, vice president of nursing services. “The award acknowledges the commitment of many individuals to the goals of advancing heart care right here in our community.”


The recognition signifies that MRMC has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients for at least 90 days with 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients. 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 to prevent future hospitalizations. According to the recommended treatment guidelines, heart failure 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 national heart failure guideline recommended care is a critical step in preventing recurrent hospitalizations and prolonging the lives of heart failure 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 Medical Center implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients.”


Maury Regional Medical Center is accredited as a chest pain center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers and beats recommended heart intervention response times. The time it takes for a patient to go from the emergency department to the catheterization lab at MRMC—commonly referred to in health care as door-to-balloon time—is consistently faster than the recommended 90 minutes. In fact, it is consistently less than 65 minutes. If one or more blockages are found through cardiac catheterization, a physician at the medical center will either open the blockage(s) with a stent or determine that the patient is a candidate for heart surgery. Maury Regional Medical Center currently partners with Vanderbilt to provide on-site cardiothoracic surgery.

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure. Statistics also show each year more than 292,200 people will die of heart failure.

“Maury Regional is dedicated to making our care for heart failure patients among the best in the country, and implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure program helps us accomplish this by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcome for these patients,” said Lumpkins.


Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure helps Maury Regional’s staff develop and implement 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 failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce health care costs by lowering the recurrence of heart attacks.