Faxton-St. Luke’s receives high marks from American Heart/Stroke Associations

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UTICA — Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLH), an affiliate of the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS), has received high marks for stroke patient care from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Faxton-St. Luke’s has received a pair of designations as part of the AHA/ASA’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award program. The program recognizes health care system’s commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Faxton-St. Luke’s has also met specific scientific guidelines as a Primary Stroke Center, featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the Emergency Department.

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.  

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines,” said Angelina M. Roche, RN, MBA, CNRN, SCRN, CPHQ, Stroke Program clinical coordinator at FSLH. “Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare 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.”

The health care system has received the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award as well as the designation of Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus.

To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, FSLH achieved 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.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, FSLH met quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, to treat ischemic stroke. The quality measures met by FSLH were: time to thrombolytic therapy within 60 minutes in 75 percent or more of acute ischemic stroke patients treated with intravenous (IV) tPA AND the door-to-needle time was within 45 minutes in 50 percent of acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV tPA (current criteria and same volume thresholds). If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. FSLH earned the award by meeting the specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding up recovery and reducing death and disability for 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.

“We are pleased to recognize Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare for their commitment to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, 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 length of stay 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 more information on Get With The Guidelines, visit heart.org/quality.

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