ROCKPORT — Pen Bay Medical Center has received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines – AFIB Gold quality achievement award for its commitment to managing atrial fibrillation, ultimately helping to reduce patients’ stroke risk.

AFib affects millions of Americans, often leading to heart-related complications as well as increasing the risk for stroke fivefold. However, proper care and treatment can reduce these risks.

The Get With The Guidelines – AFIB quality achievement award is earned by hospitals that demonstrate a commitment to treating patients according to the most up-to-date research-based guidelines as outlined by the American Heart Association. Get With The Guidelines puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping ensure patient care is aligned with the latest evidence- and research-based guidelines.

Each year, program participants qualify for the award by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality AFib care. In addition to following treatment guidelines, Get With The Guidelines participants also educate patients to help them manage their AFib at home.

“We are pleased to recognize Pen Bay Medical Center for its commitment to providing high-quality care for persons with atrial fibrillation,” said Dr. Jonathan Piccini, volunteer expert for the American Heart Association and associate professor of medicine and director of cardiac electrophysiology for Duke University Medical Center. “Hospitals that participate in Get With The Guidelines often see improved patient outcomes, fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates – a win for health care systems, families and communities.”