ALBANY, N.Y., August 16, 2005 –The Albany Medical Center has received a $50,000 grant from the Dominic Ferraioli Foundation to fund an American Heart Association (AHA) initiative that is designed to improve the treatment and outcomes of heart failure patients.
Developed by the AHA, Get With the Guidelines (GWTG)—Heart Failure is a modular hospital-based initiative that aims to help ensure that eligible patients receive guideline-recommended therapies and appropriate counseling prior to hospital discharge. The grant will fund the start up of a full-time quality specialist, who will be responsible for entering data from patient records into the GWTG’s interactive online database to ensure that patients are managed according to these guidelines, and analyzing data to track improvement.
“In Albany, Schenectady and Rensselaer counties combined, 99 percent of heart failure patients remain in the area for their care,” said Edward Philbin, M.D., George Pataki Chair in Cardiology, co-director of the Heart Transplant Program and president of the AHA’s Northeast Affiliate Board of Directors. “Recently, there has been productive dialogue among local hospitals as to how we can work together to define standardized protocols to improve heart failure care for this population. By using Get With the Guideline’s tenets of standardizing treatment and monitoring guidelines, Albany Med will illustrate how, if widely implemented, this program could help improve outcomes for nearly all heart failure patients in this region. We are thankful to the Ferraioli Foundation for supporting Albany Med in this important initiative.”
The GWTG database will generate hospital specific and aggregate benchmarking reports for key quality target measures such as discharge instructions provided to all eligible patients; measurements of left ventrical ejection fraction (LV EF)—a clinical measure of the heart’s contractile function that tends to be diminished in most patients with heart failure; angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and/or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) prescribed at discharge to patients with lower LV EF and beta blocker prescribed at discharge to those with a greater LV EF; and smoking cessation counseling provided to all eligible patients.
Albany Med recently received a Quality Performance Achievement Award from the AHA for its participation in and success with the AHA’s GWTG—Coronary Artery Disease Program.
The Dominic Ferraioli Foundation is a private foundation established in 2001 under the last will and testament of Dominic Ferraioli. The mission of the Foundation is to further the values and goals of Mr. Ferraioli with particular consideration to aiding and assisting medical facilities.
Albany Medical Center is northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center. It consists of one of the nation’s oldest medical schools, Albany Medical College; one of New York’s largest teaching hospitals, Albany Medical Center Hospital; and one of the Capital Region’s most active fund-raising organizations, the Albany Medical Center Foundation, Inc.