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UH Parma Medical Center honored with quality achievement award for stroke care

Friday, April 17, 2015

Consistent, high-quality care of stroke patients earned University Hospitals Parma Medical Center 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.

Collaboration between EMS, the Emergency Department and the multidisciplinary Stroke Team results in prompt diagnosis and effective treatment of stroke patients. UH Parma Medical Center’s Medical Director of Neurology John Andrefsky, MD met with emergency services providers on all shifts in surrounding communities to advise them of heightened stroke protocols that speed up care for patients.

Dr. Andrefsky will speak at a free stroke screening on May 14 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. at the UH Parma Health Education Center, 7300 State Road. Stroke Coordinator Noreen Chase RN will conduct a free screening covering signs, symptoms, treatment and prevention of the leading cause of disability among Americans. Criteria for this award require a minimum of two community presentations on stroke per year, and UH Parma Medical Center conducts more than 10.

“At UH Parma Medical Center, we strive to provide care for stroke patients that not only meets but exceeds the benchmarks set by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association,” said Dr. Andrefsky.

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 achieved 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.

“We are pleased to recognize UH Parma Medical Center 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 and 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 patients’ length of stays 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 healthcare 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 number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult 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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