Stroke Care Earns Bassett Gold Plus Award
Bassett Medical Center’s success in implementing rapid and effective care for stroke patients has earned the hospital the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.
Excellence in providing stroke care is increasingly important as the number of stroke victims is expected to rise over the next decade due to a large aging population. Nearly 700,000 people suffer a stroke every year — 500,000 are first attacks and 200,000 are recurrent. Of stroke survivors, 22 percent of men and 25 percent of women die within a year, and for those aged 65 and older, the percentage is even higher.
“We must be aggressive in our treatment of stroke patients because with a stroke, time lost is brain lost,” notes Chief of Neurology Dr. Paul Deringer. “The care we provide is based on evidence-based protocols and proven to save lives and reduce disability.” Bassett has a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes being equipped 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.
To receive the Gold Plus award, Bassett achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke (GWTG-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.
In addition, GWTG-Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had an acute event when they are most likely to listen to and follow their health care 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 GWTG–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 Patient Management Tool provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.
For more information about stroke symptoms and treatment, visit heart.org/quality. For more information about Bassett Healthcare Network – Bassett Medical Center, visit www.bassett.org.