Holy Spirit–A Geisinger Affiliate first in PA to earn Get With The Guidelines® Atrial Fibrillation Bronze award

Posted On On: December 29, 2015 Categories Filed Under: Member News

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Holy Spirit–A Geisinger Affiliate is the first in Pennsylvania to receive the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s new Get With The Guidelines Atrial Fibrillation (AFIB) Bronze award. The award recognizes Holy Spirit’s commitment and success by ensuring patients with atrial fibrillation receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

Get With The GuidelinesHeart AFIB was developed to assist healthcare professionals to provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for patients with atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke and other complications.

“The care our patients receive at Holy Spirit Hospital is our number one priority.  Being honored for providing excellent patient care is the best recognition a hospital can get,” said Susan M. McQuade, RN, Director, Quality and Organizational Performance. “Our team is dedicated to following internationally-respected clinical guidelines so our patients have the best possible outcomes,” said McQuade.

Holy Spirit earned the award for meeting specific quality achievement measures at a set level for a designated period.  These measures include proper use of medications and aggressive risk reduction therapies such as safe anticoagulants to reduce the risk of stroke. Also evaluated is the use of medications to stabilize the heart rate and rhythm and other medications needed to treat additional heart disease. Before they are discharged, patients also receive education on managing their condition and stroke risk, counseling if needed, and plans on follow-up care.


“We are pleased to recognize Holy Spirit for their commitment to atrial fibrillation care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and also reduce disparity gaps in care.”

In addition to care provided in the hospital, Holy Spirit also has a dedicated Atrial Fibrillation Center that provides state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment options for patients so they can decrease their risk of stroke and congestive heart failure. “Treatment is tailored to suit each patient’s specific situation, including how the heart rhythm disorder affects his or her ability to function, its effect on heart function, risk of complications, as well as patient preference.” explains Safwat Gassis, M.D., FHRS, medical director of the Holy Spirit Atrial Fibrillation Center.

According to the American Heart Association, more than 2.7 million adults suffer from atrial fibrillation.  The condition accounts for about one-third of hospitalizations for cardiac rhythm disturbance and is associated with a five-fold increase risk of stroke. Proper treatment of atrial fibrillation can reduce these risks.