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Holy Cross Hospital receives Get With the Guidelines Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award

quality-care

Award demonstrates Holy Cross Hospital's commitment to quality care for stroke patients

Holy Cross Hospital has received the 2009 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes Holy Cross Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

To receive the award, Holy Cross achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Performance 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.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award demonstrates Holy Cross Hospital’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” said Patrick A. Taylor, MD, President & CEO. “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 medicine and the latest interventional “brain saving” techniques.”

“Holy Cross is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” 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. “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.”

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.

“The time is right for Holy Cross to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines–Stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population,” said Dr. Taylor.

With the addition of a neuro-interventional radiologist, Holy Cross Hospital also became a state designated Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) in August 2009. Holy Cross is one of only three (3) hospitals in Broward County to be so designated. The Comprehensive Stroke Center designation allows the hospital to perform endovascular techniques not available to other facilities.

These endovascular procedures can often be life saving.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

For more information on Get With The Guidelines, visit www.americanheart.org/getwiththeguidelines.

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