Award demonstrates Memorial's commitment to quality care for stroke patients
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital's commitment and success in ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.
These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. They focus on appropriate use of guideline-based care for stroke patients, including aggressive use of medications such as clot-busting and anti-clotting drugs, blood thinners and cholesterol-reducing drugs, preventive action for deep vein thrombosis and smoking cessation counseling.
"With a stroke, time lost is brain lost and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally respected clinical guidelines," Memorial President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo said. "Memorial Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke helps us achieve that goal."
Memorial has also met specific scientific guidelines as a New York State Department of Health Designated Stroke Center featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients. It was the first hospital in Niagara to earn that designation.
"We are pleased to recognize Niagara Falls Memorial for their commitment to stroke care," said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee, executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get with the Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce length of stay and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparities in care."
For providers, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke offers quality-improvement measures, discharge protocols, standing orders and other measurement tools. Providing hospitals with resources and information that make it easier to follow treatment guidelines can help save lives and ultimately reduce overall health care costs by lowering readmission rates for stroke patients.
For patients, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke uses the "teachable moment," the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they learn how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital and recognize the F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke.
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. 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.