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Duke Heart Center at Duke University Hospital (DUH) has received the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s NCDR ACTION Registry–GWTG Gold Performance Achievement Award for 2009 -- one of only 121 hospitals nationwide to do so.

The award recognizes Duke Heart Center’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients, and signifies that the Center has reached an aggressive goal of treating coronary artery disease patients with 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

"Duke Heart Center has always been committed to improving the quality of cardiovascular care for our patients, which is supported by implementing valuable programs like ACTION Registry–GWTG," said Matthew T. Roe, MD, Chair of the Research and Publications Sub-committee for ACTION Registry-GWTG, who received the award on DUH’s behalf during the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2009.

"We are honored that our dedication to providing the highest quality care has been recognized."

In addition to active participation in ACTION Registry–GWTG, Duke cardiologists serve among the program’s national leadership. ACTION Registry–GWTG is one of a number of voluntary, national cardiovascular registries that DUH leads and implements to track and sustain a high-level quality of care.

To receive the ACTION Registry–GWTG Gold Performance Achievement Award, Duke Heart Center consistently followed the treatment guidelines in ACTION Registry–GWTG for 24 consecutive months.

These include consistent, evidence-based use of medications like cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, and anticoagulants in the hospital.

"The American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association commend Duke University Hospital for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols," said Christopher Cannon, MD, ACTION Registry–GWTG Steering Committee Chairperson and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Physician in the Cardiovascular Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

"The full implementation of acute and secondary prevention guideline-recommended therapy is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of heart attack patients," added Gregg C. Fonarow, MD, ACTION Registry-GWTG Steering Committee Vice-Chairperson and Director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center.

Created by the merger of the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s NCDR ACTION Registry and the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-CAD program, ACTION Registry–GWTG combines the best of both programs into a single, unified national registry.

The new registry joins the robust data collection and quality reporting features of the ACTION Registry with the collaborative models, unique tools, and quality improvement techniques of the GWTG-CAD program.

With the collective strengths of these two programs, 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.