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Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

Health Systems

The DHEC Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Division works with a diverse group of health care partners to:

  • assess the state of heart disease and stroke prevention and management across S.C.,
  • identify changes that are needed to improve the quality of care, and
  • determine how best to implement those changes.

Hospital Initiatives

Get With the Guidelines (GWTG)
HDSP partners with the South Carolina Hospital Association and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) to improve patient outcomes for heart failure and stroke through the Get With The Guidelines (GWTG) quality improvement (QI) initiative. GWTG initiatives provide training and support of electronic patient management tools support hospitals’ quality improvement processes and capacity.  Hospitals can earn accreditations as Primary Stroke Centers or Mission Lifeline centers. 

Primary Stroke Centers
HDSP supports primary stroke center certification for S.C. hospitals by sponsoring trainings and licenses for “Get With The Guidelines” patient management tools. By enhancing the stroke system of care and increasing the number of stroke capable hospitals, those in the most rural and underserved areas of our state may enjoy improved stroke outcomes. 

Heart Failure and Stroke Hospital Learning Network
The Heart Failure and Stroke Hospital Learning Network initiative establishes a mechanism for hospitals to network and design projects that address system-level challenges needed to better treat heart failure and stroke. This network was formed in response to numerous hospitals' expressed need to connect people in the state with shared interest in heart failure and stroke mentoring and remedial support with targeted indicators. 

SC Heart Care Alliance
The SC Heart Care Alliance is a collaborative partnership that utilizes the American Heart Association’s national strategy, Mission: Lifeline, to improve quality of care and outcomes for heart attack by improving health care systems’ readiness and response to ST-Elevated Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) heart attacks.

To improve outcomes for STEMI patients, the blocked coronary artery must be opened as quickly as possible. The S.C. Mission: Lifeline initiative works to decrease “evaluation to balloon” or E2B times for patients so that precious heart muscle can be saved. Through the initiative, E2B times are regularly monitored and reported, and systematic strategies have been put in place to improve outcomes. 

Due in large part to the S.C. Mission: Lifeline initiative, South Carolina now has the third best “door to balloon” time for STEMI care in the United States.

Primary Care Initiatives

HDSP works with key partners across South Carolina to implement the following initiatives aimed at improving high blood pressure control within primary care settings:

Each of these initiatives recruit health care providers serving populations most at risk for cardiovascular disease disparities, which include low-income, uninsured or underinsured adults aged 35 and over, rural residents, and African Americans. Initiatives focus on hypertension management using evidence-based protocols and proven best practices, quality of care monitoring and feedback. 

For more information on the above initiatives, please contact the HDSP Health Systems Coordinator by phone at (803) 545-4472 or by email.