By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

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The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday became the first country outside the United States to fully implement an American Heart Association program that helps hospitals improve cardiovascular care.

Get With The Guidelines is an evidence-based, in-hospital continuous quality improvement process designed to improve treatment and prevent future cardiovascular and stroke events through consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines.

The Emirates Cardiac Society is supporting the launch in Dubai.

“As the country looks to position itself at the forefront of healthcare provision in the region, it’s critical that we bring in the right tools that will help curb the effects of the noncommunicable diseases — especially cardiovascular disease — and improve outcomes for both patients and providers,” said Dr. Abdullah Shehab, president of the Emirates Cardiac Society. “We’re confident that Get With The Guidelines will play a key role in improving the health of our community.”

Since 2002, more than 2,000 hospitals in the United States have implemented at least one of two of the GTWG modules — benefiting more than 6 million patients. More than 160 hospitals across China and Brazil are using variations of the program.

“The global expansion of our Get With The Guidelines program is the next step in our journey towards fulfilling the goal to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” said Sidney C. Smith Jr., M.D., a past president of the AHA and a global expert in quality improvement science and programs.

“In the 15 years since we introduced the program in the United States, Get With The Guidelines has proven its efficacy in transforming patient care and has improved patient outcomes, lowered healthcare costs due to reduced readmission and increased efficiency and effectiveness across the continuum of care.”

GWTG includes an online, interactive assessment and reporting system that supports data submissions while tracking a hospital’s performance in delivering guidelines-based treatment.

Participating hospitals collect data and monitor their compliance with guidelines-based therapies to improve care according to best practices. Data collection and feedback reporting are performed online using the AHA’s interactive Patient Management Tool. Hospitals and providers learn the correct treatment, translate guidelines into practice and report the results.

Data from Get With The Guidelines have resulted in more than 375 scientific publications that have advanced cardiovascular health.