Medical Center Awarded

UC Irvine Medical Center has recently been recognized by the American Heart Association and received the Get With The Guidelines — Heart Failure Gold Plus Award, an honor earned only after two consecutive years of excellence in helping heart failure patients cope with health struggles.

When the UC Irvine Medical center discharges a patient, its doctors have made sure that their collective efforts have reduced the chance of re-hospitalization of that patient in the future.

Specifically, the medical center complied to the outlined standards of care with an impressive rate of 98.9 percent.

In addition to the standards of care, the Medical Center also pursued and earned a Plus Quality Award.

This award is earned through 75 percent or higher compliance of four out of nine quality measures for 12 consecutive months. The UC Irvine medical center greatly surpassed this requirement by having a 90 percent compliance rate within their four specific quality measures.

Patients at UCI’s Medical Center are guaranteed five different discharge treatments, each of which is tailored to a patient’s condition. The therapeutic services provided by the Medical Center include offering left-ventricular ejection fraction measurement (measure of blood pumped per heartbeat), distributing relevant post-hospitalization instructions, medicine or beta blockers to help reduce congestive heart failure or high blood pressure when necessary, and administering smoking counseling when appropriate.

The American Heart Association offers five accomplishment awards of varying degrees.

Medical centers are lauded for achieving at least 85 percent compliance in at least one of the following categories: Bronze (90 consecutive days of excellent performance), Silver (12 consecutive months of excellent performance), and Gold (24 consecutive months of excellent performance), along with the Silver Plus, and Gold Plus which follow the same time guidelines but recognize even further achievement.

Heart failure is defined as when one’s heart does not pump blood efficiently or when heart muscles are stiff and have difficulty filling with blood. As a result, in periods of activity, the blood does not flow throughout the body as it should, causing congestion.

A weak heart can lead to numerous other health problems. People who suffer from heart failure have to put in an extra effort to take care of themselves, making sure that their lifestyles cater to their heart condition.

Without extensive help and treatment from a medical center, tracking the heart’s progress can be a difficult task.

To maintain this award, the health center needs to continue to follow these high standards. Moreover, the award requests follow-up visits to patients within seven days of discharge.

Following these guidelines not only helps the medical center, but also  improves the quality of life that patients can have.

By providing patients with valuable information regarding treatments that they can receive and following up on their cases, future hospitalization is reduced, healthier lifestyles are promoted, future costs are cut and death rates also decrease.

The UC Irvine Medical Center has joined its sister University of California hospitals in earning recognition from the American Heart Association. UC San Diego, UC Los Angeles and UC Davis have all previously earned gold and silver distinctions in separate fields.

With the quality of care increasing in hospitals around the world it is a noteworthy accomplishment for the Medical Center to meet the standards and earn this honor.

Continually one of the highest ranking hospitals on the nation’s best hospitals list by “U.S. News & World Report” and Orange County’s only University hospital, Anteaters should be proud of their Medical Center’s achievements.