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Using "Get With The Guidelines" Improve Cardiovascular Secondary Prevention

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Background: "Get With The Guidelines (GWTG)" was developed and piloted by the American Heart Association (AHA), New England Affiliate; MassPRO, Inc.; and other organizations to reduce the gap in the application of secondary prevention guidelines in hospitalized cardiovascular disease patients. Collaborative learning programs and technology solutions were created for the project.

The Patient Management Tool (PMT): The interactive Web-based patient management tool (PMT) was developed using quality measures derived from the AHA/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines. It provided data entry, embedded reminders and guideline summaries, and online reports of quality measure performance, including comparisons with the aggregate performance of all hospitals.

Learning Sessions: Multidisciplinary teams from 24 hospitals participated in the 2000–2001 pilot. Four collaborative learning sessions and monthly conference calls supported team interaction. Best-practices sharing and the use of an Internet tool enabled hospitals to change systems and collect data on 1,738 patients.

Summary and conclusions: The GWTG program, a template of learning sessions with didactic presentations, best-practices sharing, and collaborative multidisciplinary team meetings supported by the Internet-based data collection and reporting system, can be extended to multiple regions without requiring additional development. Following the completion of the pilot, the AHA adopted GWTG as a national program.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-10-01

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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