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South Nassau Communities Hospital

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South Nassau Communities Hospital is One of Just 167 Hospital’s in US to Earn Gold Performance Award for Cardiac Care

To earn the award, South Nassau needed to adhere to the treatment guidelines in ACTION Registry–GWTG for 12 consecutive quarters (three years) and meet a performance standard of at least 85% for specific performance measures.

Oceanside, NY, December 07, 2011 --( South Nassau Communities Hospital is one of just 167 hospitals nationwide to be awarded the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Foundation’s National Cardiology Data Registry (NCDR) ACTION Registry–Get With the Guidelines (GWTG) Gold Performance Achievement Award for 2011. This marks the third consecutive year that South Nassau has earned the Gold Performance Achievement Award for achieving high standards in the treatment of coronary artery disease.

To earn the Gold Performance Achievement Award, South Nassau needed to adhere to the treatment guidelines in ACTION Registry–GWTG for 12 consecutive quarters (three years) and meet a performance standard of at least 85% for specific performance measures. Following these treatment guidelines improves adherence to ACC/American Heart Association Clinical Guideline recommendations, monitors drug safety and the overall quality of care provided to ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and non- ST- elevation myocardial infarction patients (NSTEMI).

The GWTG program is a quality improvement program that helps hospitals provide cardiac and stroke care in accordance with the most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations. Hospitals that continually meet or exceed the nationally accepted standards, or guidelines, improve their quality patient care by turning guidelines into “lifelines.” Research has shown that 80,000 lives can be saved annually if the program’s recommended guidelines for coronary artery disease are implemented nationwide. GWTG was the first hospital-based program to receive the prestigious Innovation in Prevention Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2004. Presently, nearly 2,000 hospitals use one or more GWTG modules. For more information, visit

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the age-adjusted rate of deaths attributed to heart disease is down 25.8 percent since 1999. The American Heart Association says the main factors that have helped reduce the rate of deaths caused by heart disease include the establishment of guidelines for the treatment and prevention of heart attacks; improvements in medications and in technology; and the timely delivery of appropriate treatments, such as angioplasty, to open blocked coronary arteries.

South Nassau’s Center for Cardiovascular Health is built on those factors. The center treats patients with the combination of advanced technologies and best practices and is equipped with the latest advancements in cardiac digital imaging systems. Its echocardiography lab is accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for Accreditation of Echocardiography (ICAEL). This prestigious accreditation is awarded in recognition of a commitment to quality testing for the diagnosis of heart disease in the echocardiography laboratory.

The center also performs a wide range of coronary and peripheral interventional procedures, including balloon angioplasty, stenting, and thrombolytic therapy. When providing balloon angioplasty in an emergency, the center averages a door-to-balloon-time of approximately 68 minutes, which is 22 minutes faster than the medically recommended door-to-balloon time benchmark of 90 minutes.

Lawrence Kanner, MD, FACC, director of electrophysiology and arrhythmia services, and the center’s staff of electrophysiologists use advanced technologies to provide timely, accurate diagnoses and therapies to treat the range of cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and defibrillator complications. Services include diagnostic studies, implantation and testing of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and radio-frequency catheter ablation for the treatment of potentially fatal irregular heartbeats.

Cardiac imaging specialists at the center are well-versed in nuclear cardiology (which generates images of the heart at work, during exercise, and at rest), echocardiogram via the trans-thoracic method (a non-invasive, highly accurate and quick assessment of the overall health of the heart in which a probe is placed on the chest wall of the patient to produce images of the heart), and transesophageal echocardiogram (which uses a specialized probe containing an ultrasound transducer at its tip that is passed into the esophagus and is used to provide clear views of areas of the heart that would be difficult to view transthoracically).

The center’s cardiac imaging services also include stress echocardiogram (which involves exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle while the patient is monitored by technology using high-frequency sound waves that produces a graphic outline of the heart's movement, valves, and chambers) and diagnostic peripheral vascular ultrasound (noninvasive diagnostic technique used to evaluate the health of blood vessels) for patients with peripheral arterial disease.

ACTION Registry–GWTG is a partnership between the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association with partnering support from the American College of Emergency Physicians, Society of Chest Pain Centers and the Society of Hospital Medicine. ACTION Registry-GWTG empowers health care provider teams to consistently treat heart attack patients according to the most current, science-based guidelines and establishes a national standard for understanding and improving the quality, safety and outcomes of care provided for patients with coronary artery disease, specifically high-risk STEMI and NSTEMI patients.

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South Nassau Communities Hospital
Damian J. Becker

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