The American Heart Association and Heart Rhythm Society Unite to Improve Cardiovascular Research, Care
(NewMediaWire) - October 15, 2015 - DALLAS - The American Heart Association and Heart Rhythm Society today announced a collaboration designed to advance research and improve the delivery of care for people with an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation (AFib).
Both organizations will work together over the next three years to:
Engage more hospitals and clinicians to learn about quality improvement programs and participate in them
Increase educational opportunities for specialty cardiologists, including electrophysiologists, through webinars and national conferences
Advance cardiovascular research and quality improvement through joint efforts
Support effective management of patients who suffer from AFib
AFib is a quivering or irregular heartbeat that affects between 2.7 million and 6.1 million Americans, and accounts for about one-third of hospitalizations for heart rhythm disturbance. It is often undiagnosed because it occurs sporadically and may not produce symptoms. Patients with AFib are five times more likely to have strokes and are at risk for developing other heart-related complications.
Though AFib therapies and treatments exist, gaps remain. A chief goal of the alliance is to improve the quality of care of patients with AFib while preventing strokes and saving lives, said Dr. William Lewis, Chair of the Get With The Guidelines-AFib work group, Chief of Cardiology for MetroHealth System and Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.
“Collaborating with the Heart Rhythm Society brings the expertise of the largest U.S. electrophysiology professional organization together with the American Heart Association’s leadership in improving healthcare quality,” Lewis said. “Aligning with experts in heart rhythm care will allow us to touch the lives of many more patients with atrial fibrillation, the most common heart arrhythmia in the world.”
The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) is a leading resource on cardiac arrhythmia disorders. This specialty organization represents medical, allied health, and science professionals from more than 72 countries who specialize in cardiac rhythm disorders.
“The Heart Rhythm Society is excited to collaborate with the American Heart Association on this important quality initiative. HRS represents professionals around the globe all with unique focus on cardiac arrhythmia disorders and those that specifically treat AFib patients,” said John D. Day, MD, FHRS, President of the Heart Rhythm Society. “This initiative is critical to our AFib patients and supports our efforts to improve the delivery of care. There are more than 150,000 newly diagnosed AFib patients each year within the U.S. alone. We believe this collaboration will advance guideline adoption and ultimately improve outcomes.”
The American Heart Association is a leader in developing science-based treatment guidelines known to improve outcomes for heart disease and stroke patients. Its Get With The Guidelines ® is the largest national hospital-based program dedicated to quality of care improvement for patients with cardiovascular disease, including targeted initiatives in AFib, stroke, heart failure and resuscitation. More than 2,000 U.S. hospitals participate in the quality initiative, which has a database of over 11 million patient records.
Get With The Guidelines-AFIB is aimed at improving access to proven medical therapies based on scientific guidelines, monitoring the quality of AFib care in U.S. hospitals and creating a database for continued research and quality improvement initiatives.
“We know that Get With The Guidelines is effective. We’ve studied the ability of Get With The Guidelines to initiate anticoagulation therapy for patients with AFib in the stroke module. Ninety five percent of patients with AFib were treated with anticoagulants. This compares favorably to 50-60 percent adherence in the literature,” Lewis said.
He believes similar anticoagulation levels can be achieved in the Get With the Guidelines-AFIB module through increased hospital participation.
“Hospitals look to their heart rhythm experts, electrophysiologists, to develop programs to improve the quality of care for their patients with AFib,” Lewis added. “The American Heart Association has been the leader in improving quality outcomes for heart patients. This collaboration gives us the opportunity to do what no one has ever done: Take the quality of care of atrial fibrillation patients to new levels.”
Learn more about atrial fibrillation
Find out more about Get With the Guidelines-AFIB
Learn more about HRS AFib resources for clinicians and patients, including a “Guide to Atrial Fibrillation” and an AFib Risk Assessment interactive tool
About The American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About Heart Rhythm Society
The Heart Rhythm Society is the international leader in science, education, and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmia professionals and patients, and the primary information resource on heart rhythm disorders. Its mission is to improve the care of patients by promoting research, education, and optimal health care policies and standards. Incorporated in 1979 and based in Washington, D.C., it has a membership of more than 5,800 heart rhythm professionals in more than 72 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.HRSonline.org.
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the association’s science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.
Cathy Lewis (AHA) (214) 706-1324; firstname.lastname@example.org
Christina Wurster (HRS): 202-464-3415; email@example.com
For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)