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U.S. News recognizes UCI Health heart failure program as high performing

May 21, 2015

UCI Health has received recognition as  "High Performing" in its heart failure program by U.S. News & World Report as part of its new Best Hospitals for Common Care ratings system.

U.S. News developed the new ratings to help patients easily identify hospitals in their communities that excel in treating common conditions, including three common operations — heart bypass, hip replacement and knee replacement – and two widespread chronic conditions — congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. A hospital may be rated as “High Performing,” “Average” or “Below Average.” The goal was to evaluate nearly every hospital in the country in five common surgical procedures and medical conditions that account for millions of hospitalizations a year.

UCI Health has long been dedicated to offering the highest quality of care for patients experiencing heart failure, a condition that refers to the progressive weakening of the heart muscle until it no longer pumps enough blood to meet the body's needs.

Last year, the program earned the American Heart Association’s Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for the fourth time. The award recognizes that UCI Health has achieved the goal of treating heart failure patients according to the secondary prevention guidelines recommended by the AHA and the American College of Cardiology.

In February, UCI Health became Orange County's first medical center to offer heart failure patients remote monitoring of their pulmonary artery pressure and heart rate measurements. Real-time access to this data enables doctors to proactively manage a patient’s condition, helping to reduce the rate of hospital readmission related to heart failure, the leading cause of hospitalization among adults 65 and older in the U.S.

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.1 million people suffer from heart failure. Each year, 670,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than 275,000 people will die of heart failure. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full life when their condition is managed with proper medications and with healthy lifestyle changes. 

Approximately 11 percent of hospitals U.S. News rated in this condition are considered high performing.

To generate the ratings, U.S. News evaluated hospitals across more than 25 quality measures — including mortality, readmissions, infections and patient satisfaction scores — and analyzed more than 5 million patient records, taking into account each patient’s health conditions, age, sex, socioeconomic status and other factors affecting risk.

The ratings rely on Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data for patients 65 and older, as well as data from the American Hospital Association annual survey and clinical registry data from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. 

UCI Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 411-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 14 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and is the primary teaching hospital for UC Irvine School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of California, Irvine: Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, UC Irvine is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UC Irvine has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.8 billion annually to the local economy. For more about UC Irvine, visit www.uci.edu.