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Guidelines for heart care show promise

Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2009

A push to get hospitals to follow prescribed treatment guidelines is showing promising results in improving care for stroke and heart-attack patients and preventing repeat hospitalizations for those with heart failure. The program, called Get With the Guidelines, was launched in 2000 by the American Heart Association and aims to improve outcomes and eliminate disparities in care of heart and stroke patients. About 1,600 U.S. hospitals have so far signed up with the program. Following the release of recent studies showing improved outcomes at hospitals enrolled in the program, institutions are joining at an accelerated pace, program officials say.