Best Practices Center Introduction

Updated:Feb 25,2015

Helping you do your best for patients by sharing best practices.
That’s the idea behind this site. It compiles and organizes processes, resources and tools proven to be successful at Get With The Guidelines® hospitals, so other participating hospitals have access to them.

Experience tells us that even with the strong administrative support and active physician leadership needed to implement Get With The Guidelines, barriers may still hinder optimal use of evidence-based care.

By offering best practices in an easy-to-use format, we hope to help Get With The Guidelines hospitals overcome barriers to delivering the quality care they strive to provide heart failure and stroke patients.

Best practices begin with an ah-ha moment.
Every best practice starts with the identification of an opportunity to improve an aspect of direct or indirect patient care. Direct-care improvement opportunities are often discovered by clinicians who work one-on-one with patients and whose hospital culture promotes bottom-up input on patient care. Indirect-care opportunities, such as those involving clinician education, are more often gleaned by supervisors or implementers who have a more global awareness of how departments interact or of practices employed by other hospitals/departments that are applicable to heart and/or stroke patients.

Once a hospital team member identifies an opportunity, hospitals typically seek input and buy-in from the clinicians and/or supervisors most directly affected. Champions of a prospective practice then take the plan to the next level, requesting support and guidance to achieve the final result.

Procedural changes often require committee approvals. Some hospitals avoid time-consuming approvals by instituting change in ways that don’t affect the permanent record, e.g., the use of supplemental forms.

Other kinds of improvements, such as changes focused on education or more efficient use of resources, may require no approvals other than those of the team members directly involved.

Resource requests, particularly those that involve additional staffing, require administrative approval and are often bogged down, even when the hospital can demonstrate cost savings or a definitive tie to improved Get With The Guidelines achievement.

Planning a process change may take four to nine months, depending on committee meeting schedules and the number of approval levels. The waiting period is often put to use communicating the planned change and preparing those involved through training and education programs.