Christiana Care Health System’s Center for Heart & Vascular Health has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.
The award recognizes Christiana Care’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.
To receive the award, Christiana Care achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care.
These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.
The award also recognizes the early recognition of stroke by paramedics in the community who notify the Emergency Department to prepare the stroke alert team for a patient’s arrival. Prompt calling of 911 for emergency assistance when stroke is suspected can save heart or brain tissue.
“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award demonstrates Christiana Care’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” said Timothy J. Gardner, M.D., medical director of Christiana Care’s Center for Heart & Vascular Health and past national president of the American Heart Association. “We will continue with our focus on providing care that has been shown in the scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols.”
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 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, written in an easy-to-understand format, are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the Get With The Guidelines Patient Management Tool gives health care providers access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.
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.
Christiana Care’s Center for Heart & Vascular Health is one of the most technologically advanced cardiovascular care centers in the United States. In 2010 it earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for its treatment of stroke and a three-star rating for heart surgery, the highest available, from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. It recently received the AHA’s Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award.