Heart and hands illustrationThe American Heart Association’s new Guideline Transformation and Optimization initiative will aid healthcare providers in delivering optimal care for heart disease and stroke patients.

Launching in steps, the GTO will first focus on improving the guidelines that involve treating patients who suffered a heart attack related to a condition called non ST segment elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome. More than 515,000 Americans every year suffer a heart attack related to NSTE-ACS.

Attendees at AHA’s Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida, will be the first to experience the NSTE-ACS Pocket Guidelines tool and the NSTE-ACS Professional Resource Center.

The NSTE-ACS Pocket Guideline tool provides direct information about the improved guidelines. It will also incorporate tables and algorithms to present diagnostic and management approaches. The online NSTE-ACS Professional Resource Center will include webinars, debates and easy access to the guidelines for medical professionals. An e-book multimedia reference is aimed to help healthcare providers understand and apply the latest guidelines.

“The American Heart Association is focused on rapidly translating guidelines into clinical practice,” said Alice Jacobs, M.D., an American Heart Association past president and former chair of the ACCF/AHA Guidelines Task Force. “The tools and resources being created are highly valuable for educating medical professionals, but it is the method the American Heart Association is using to deliver the tools and resources that will make GTO effective.”

Patients having a ST segment elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI, can benefit from an additional expansion with AHA’s Mission: Lifeline initiative. This initiative goes beyond the care of the patient’s hospital stay to encourage enrollment into a cardiac rehabilitation program.

“Hospitals and systems of care currently treating STEMI patients will now be able to expand their reach to all patients with heart attacks using the same integrated approach created by Mission: Lifeline,” said Jacobs.

A three-year educational grant from AstraZeneca supports the new GTO initiative.