Atlantic General Hospital was recently awarded the American Stroke Association’s
Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Silver Performance Achievement
Award at the association’s International Stroke Conference 2010.
The award recognizes Atlantic General’s commitment and success in
implementing a high standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients
receive the most appropriate treatment according to evidence-based guidelines.
“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates
Atlantic General’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals
in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” said
Colleen Wareing, vice president of patient care services. “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
To receive the award, Atlantic General needed to achieve 85 percent or
higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines–Stroke achievement
indicators for at least 12 months consecutive months. In fact, the hospital
achieved between 91 and 100 percent on all indicators. Achievement indicators
are evidence-based treatments known to result in improved patient outcomes.
They include appropriate use of guideline-based care for stroke patients,
including clot-busting and anti-clotting medications, blood thinners and
cholesterol-reducing drugs, preventive action for deep vein thrombosis
and smoking cessation counseling.
Atlantic General Hospital has developed a Primary Stroke Center, featuring
a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients
admitted to the emergency department. As a result, the staff is always
prepared to provide brain imaging scans and neurologists are on hand to
conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.
“Atlantic General Hospital’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke
recognition is a tribute to the commitment of their staff and healthcare
professionals to ensuring quality patient care, using all the available
evidence, guidelines and tools,” 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, Mass. “Published scientific studies are providing us
with more and more evidence that Get With The Guidelines works. Patients
are getting the right care they need when they need it. That’s resulting
in improved survival after a stroke diagnosis.
“We committed to providing patients the highest quality care based
on the most current and robust scientific research,” said Wareing.
“The Get With The Guidelines program is giving our healthcare providers
the tools they need to improve the quality of care and long-term outcomes
of our stroke patients.”
For providers, the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke program 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 has been shown to improve
the quality of care provided to stroke patients. This can help save lives
and ultimately reduce overall healthcare costs by lowering readmission
rates for stroke patients.
For Atlantic General’s 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 the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke program, customized patient
education materials are made available at the point of discharge from
Atlantic General, 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.
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association,
stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, accounting
for one in every 18 deaths in the United States, and is a leading cause
of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke
every 40 seconds and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
For more information on Get With The Guidelines, visitwww.americanheart.org/getwiththeguidelines.