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The University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), an alliance of the clinical enterprises of 88 academic health centers that supports clinical benchmarking and sharing of best practices across member institutions, recently ranked BWH number one in the area of congestive heart failure (CHF) performance and second in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) performance.
“On behalf of all of the staff of the Advanced Cardiac Disease Section at BWH, which provides care for heart failure, heart transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support, we are honored to have our program highlighted for its quality and outcomes,” said Lynne Warner Stevenson, MD, co-director of the Cardiomyopathy/Heart Failure Program.
The key difference at BWH is the shared commitment to heart failure, integrating care at all levels in and out of the hospital. Specially, trained heart failure nurses and dedicated faculty join together to tailor therapy, achieving individualized goals for each heart failure patient. The inpatient care links closely with the outpatient Cardiomyopathy Clinic, and patients participate actively in their own progress. Sustained relief of symptoms, prevention of complications, and enhancement of activity are the highest priorities. Having first access to the developing technologies such as resynchronization pacing and cardiac assist devices helps to ensure that the best therapy can be selected for each patient.
“We are quite excited that our efforts to coordinate acute myocardial infarction care at BWH amongst the Department of Emergency Medicine, the catheterization laboratory, and the cardiac care units have led to such success,” said James Kirshenbaum, MD, director of Acute Interventional Cardiology.
This team approach routinely achieves “door to balloon” times that are far superior to national standards. New rapid cath lab response systems implemented over the past year often allow AMI patients to be treated in half the time reported at other major medical academic centers.