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Hospital Earns “Get With The Guidelines-Stroke” Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

Hospital Earns “Get With The Guidelines-Stroke” Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

September 01, 2011

Pensacola, FL  West Florida Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.  The award recognizes West Florida Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

To receive the award, West Florida Hospital had to achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for 24 consecutive months, achieved 85 percent or higher compliance in two or all three categories, and/or for being in 75 percent compliance with heart failure and/or stroke measures.

Get With The Guidelines is a hospital-based quality-improvement program designed to ensure that hospitals consistently care for heart and stroke patients utilizing the most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations. Currently more than 1,400 hospitals participate in the program.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award demonstrates West Florida Hospital’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” said Marlene Besnoff, RN, Stroke Program Specialist at West Florida Hospital.  “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,”

“West Florida Hospital is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” 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 gives healthcare providers access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

“The time is right for West Florida Hospital 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 Besnoff.

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.

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