The American College of Cardiology Foundation's NCDR® and the American Heart Association’s GWTG Join Forces to Fight Heart Attacks

Contact: Amanda Jekowsky,, 202-375-6645

The American College of Cardiology Foundation’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR®) and the American Heart Association’s Get With The GuidelinesSM (GWTG)-Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) Registry announced today they are joining together to create a national unified registry for measuring and improving safety and outcomes for patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS). Acute coronary syndrome is an umbrella diagnosis that encompasses both a type of heart attack known as non ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) and unstable angina, or chest pain.

This collaboration joins two leading national coronary artery disease registries, NCDR’s ACTION Registry and GWTG-CAD Registry, to create the largest and most comprehensive national cardiovascular patient database ever developed by the medical profession. This new registry, called ACTION Registry ®-GWTG ™, will establish the national standard for understanding and improving the quality, safety and outcomes of care provided for patients with coronary artery disease.

While the ACC and the AHA have a history of collaboration by establishing joint clinical guidelines for cardiovascular care, the ACTION Registry®-GWTG™ is the first registry partnership between the two groups. This unified partnership brings the best of both programs to a single registry, ultimately offering more benchmarking and quality improvement power to hundreds and eventually thousands of hospitals across the country providing care for patients with ACS.

"This merger has long been a dream of the cardiovascular professional community and our nation's hospitals," says Ralph Brindis, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Medical Officer for the ACC's NCDR. "A single, national ACS registry under the guidance of the leading cardiovascular care organizations will facilitate a leap forward in the improvement of the quality and safety of care of patients with cardiovascular disease."

“This is a tremendous step for patient care that will save lives,” said Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., Chair of the AHA GWTG Steering Committee. “The combination of these two programs will greatly facilitate quality improvement efforts, optimize clinical care and improve clinical outcomes for acute coronary syndrome patients.”

The collaboration builds upon the collaborative models, tools and techniques of the GWTG initiative, along with NCDR’s history of credible, well-established registry experience, data reporting, benchmarking and quality improvement initiatives to provide new measurement and outcomes reporting for cardiovascular providers. With the strengths of both existing programs, the new ACTION Registry-GWTG will empower healthcare provider teams to consistently treat heart attack patients according to the most current, science-based guidelines.

The new ACTION Registry®-GWTG™ program will collect a comprehensive set of data elements that provide hospitals with information they need to monitor and improve adherence to treatment guidelines and patient outcomes.

This merger applies only to the ACTION and GWTG-CAD registries. The AHA will continue to fully administer the GWTG-Heart Failure and Stroke programs and NCDR will continue to fully administer and operate the CathPCI Registry, the ICD Registry, the CARE Registry and the IC3 Program. The transition to ACTION Registry-GWTG will be completed over the coming months. During that time, both organizations will continue to support and encourage ongoing hospital participation in their respective quality improvement and patient database initiatives.


The American College of Cardiology is leading the way to optimal cardiovascular care and disease prevention. The College is a 34,000-member nonprofit medical society and bestows the credential Fellow of the American College of Cardiology upon physicians who meet its stringent qualifications. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines, and is a staunch supporter of cardiovascular research. The ACC provides professional education and operates national registries for the measurement and improvement of quality care. More information about the association is available online at .

Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. These diseases, America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers, and all other cardiovascular diseases claim over 870,000 lives a year. In fiscal year 2006–07, the association invested more than $554 million in research, professional and public education, advocacy and community service programs to help all Americans live longer, healthier lives. To learn more, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit

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