May is National Stroke Awareness Month. In preparation for this special health awareness month, we have an exciting announcement.
For the third year in a row, OSF St. Joseph 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 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.
“OSF St. Joseph 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,” said Chad Boore, President, OSF St. Joseph Medical Center. “With this award, our hospital demonstrates our commitment to ensure our patients receive care based on internationally-respected clinical guidelines.”
“We are pleased to recognize OSF St. Joseph Medical Center for their commitment and dedication 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, 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 disparity gaps in care.”
Get With The Guidelines – Stroke also helps staff at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center implement prevention measures, which include educating stroke patients to manage their risk factors and to be aware of warning signs for stroke, and ensuring they take their medications properly. Hospitals can make customized patient education materials available upon discharge, based on the patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format in either English or Spanish.
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.
For more information about stroke care at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, please click here.