News

September 28, 2011

American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines Gold Quality Achievement Award

Faith Regional Health Services recently received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award. The award, which was presented at the 2011 Go Red for Women: Ladies Night Out event held on September 28, recognizes Faith Regional’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment for at least 24 months according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award addresses the important element of time,” said Betty Froehlich, director of Quality and Case Management at Faith Regional Health Services. “Faith Regional has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologistsavailable to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.”

To receive the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award, Faith Regional demonstrated 85% adherence in the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke key measures for 24 or more consecutive months. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs, and smoking cessation.

“The American Stroke Association commends Faith Regional for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.”

Get With The Guidelines–­Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals’ guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke. Through Get With The Guidelines–­Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the Get With The Guidelines Patient Management Tool provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

“The time is right for Faith Regional to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines–­Stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population,” said Jeff Yosten, MD, Medical Director of Faith Regional’s Emergency Department.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Faith Regional Health Services has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award.  The award recognizes Faith Regional’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

To receive the award, Faith Regional achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Performance Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of ten Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care.