Mercy South Heart Failure Program Receives National Recognition

July 17, 2023

Living with heart failure can cause fatigue, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, swelling and other life-altering symptoms. Properly treating heart failure can help patients immensely if clinicians apply the right treatment.

The American Heart Association is again honoring Mercy Hospital South this year with its Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure Gold Plus quality achievement award. This honor recognizes Mercy South for ensuring heart failure patients receive appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines founded in the latest scientific evidence. The goal is speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients.

Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Award badge

“We’re trying to help our patients live as full a life as possible – and that means keeping them out of the hospital as much as possible,” said Vijay Divakaran, Mercy nurse practitioner and heart failure program supervisor. “Working together as a team and following these evidence-based guidelines has proven to be the best way to care for our patients.”

An estimated 6.2 million American adults are living with heart failure, according to the American Heart Association. Heart failure means the heart is having a difficult time pumping blood and oxygen throughout the body. While patients cannot be cured of heart failure, they can improve the quality of their lives through appropriate treatment that may include medication, symptom monitoring and lifestyle changes.

Mercy South’s Heart Failure Program earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies. Before discharge, patients also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, schedule a follow-up visit, and have access to other care transition interventions.

Mercy South also earned the heart association’s Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll award. To earn this award, hospitals are required to meet specific criteria that improves medication adherence, provides early follow-up care and coordination, and enhances patient education. The goal is to reduce hospital readmissions and help patients improve their quality of life in managing this chronic condition.

New this year, Mercy South earned the Heart Association’s Target: Type 2 Honor Roll award for heart failure patients, which means Mercy demonstrated that it aims to ensure patients with Type 2 diabetes, who might be at higher risk for complications, receive the most up-to-date, evidence-based care when hospitalized due to heart disease.