Pasadena, CA -- (May 17, 2010) Huntington Memorial Hospital has received the American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines SM–Stroke (GWTG–Stroke) Silver Performance Achievement Award which recognizes Huntington’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.
“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the GWTG–Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award addresses the important element of time,” said Arbi Ohanian, MD, medical director of Huntington’s stroke services.
As one of the region’s only primary stroke centers, Huntington Hospital has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.
To receive the GWTG Silver Performance Achievement Award, Huntington consistently complied for at least one year with program requirements including aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. This twelve-month evaluation period is the second in an ongoing self-evaluation by the hospital to continually reach the 85 percent compliance level needed to sustain this award.
“The American Stroke Association commends Huntington Hospital for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, vice-chair of the national GWTG Steering Committee and vice-chair of the neurology department and director of 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.”
GWTG–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 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 GWTG Patient Management Tool provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.
“The time is right for Huntington Hospital to focus on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With the Guidelines–Stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population,” said Ohanian.
According to the American Stroke Association, each year approximately 795,000 people suffer a stroke — 610,000 are first attacks and 185,000 are recurrent. Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States is suffering from a stroke. This deadly condition accounts for 1 out of every 18 deaths in the United States.