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Effort to battle heart disease earns awards for DHM
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Katy Marconi, Doctors Hospital quality care coordinator, displays the gold and silver awards the hospital recently received from the American Heart Association for its effectiveness in heart patient care and preventive programs. - photo by GLENN KAHL
The “Get with the Guidelines” program at Doctors Hospital of Manteca brought two awards from the American Heart Association – one gold and one silver – for its effectiveness in battling coronary heart disease.

Dr. Katy Marconi, head of the hospital pharmacy, also coordinates the preventative heart disease program as the quality care coordinator.

Marconi leads a team of nine medical professionals who meet every other week in an effort to provide the hospitals some 600 annual heart patients the best possible heart  care throughout the year.

In addition to Manteca cardiologists Drs. Rajiv Punja and Venkata Emani, the internal medicine physicians on staff also treat the community’s heart patients.

“This can be a little peace of mind to know that the processes are so well defined and safe,” Marconi said.  She added that the public should look at the “Hospital Compare” website to see how well Doctors Hospital compares with other hospitals in the area for coronary care.

This American Heart Association recognition feeds directly into that site, she said.

Marconi added that the patient has a lot to do with controlling their heart conditions and they can make a difference when following a colorful hospital flier, “Heart Failure Zones.”

The flier displays three zones that should be considered and watched: the normal every day monitoring of their health, the green zone which lists trouble signs, the yellow zone warning of danger and the red zone described as emergency situations where an individual might be struggling to breathe, having chest pain, possibly having confusion and not being able to think clearly.

The Silver Performance Achievement Award recognizes Doctors’ commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of cardiac care that effectively improves treatment of patients who are hospitalized with coronary artery disease.

The heart association’s Gold Performance Achievement Award signifies that Doctors Hospital has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85 percent compliance for at least 24 months to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.

“Get with the Guidelines” is a quality improvement initiative that provides hospital staffs with the tools that follow proven evidence-based guidelines and procedures in caring for heart failure patients to prevent future hospitalizations.

Heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants in the hospital.

They also receive alcohol/drug use and thyroid management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before being discharged from the hospital.