PHOTO: Leslie Moran, Director Neuroscience; Steve Dentel, Senior Director, American Heart Association; Lois Tessari, Nurse Manager; Michelle Wozniak, Nurse Manager; Wendy Kalmanir, Stroke Nurse.
Award demonstrates Conemaugh Memorial’s commitment to quality care for stroke patients
Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center (MMC) has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes Conemaugh Memorial’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.
To receive the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award, Conemaugh Memorial achieved at least 12 consecutive months of 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators and achieved at least 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures during that same period of time, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care.
These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as 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.
In addition to the Get With The Guideline-Stroke award, MMC has also been recognized as a recipient of the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, for improving stroke care. Over the past quarter, at least 50 percent of the hospital’s eligible ischemic stroke patients have received tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as ‘door-to-needle’ time). A thrombolytic, or clot-busting agent, tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.
“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award demonstrates that our staff is committed to providing care that has been shown in the scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols,” said Dr. David Carlson, Chief Medical Officer of the Conemaugh Health System.
“Conemaugh Memorial 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. Through Get With The Guidelines-Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients’ individual risk profiles.
“The timing on this topic is so important,” says Dr. Todd Lynn, Interim Medical Director of Conemaugh Memorial’s Stroke program. “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.”
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term 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.
About Conemaugh Health System (www.conemaugh.org)
Conemaugh Health System, located in Johnstown, PA, is the largest healthcare provider in the state's west-central region. As the largest employer in a region that spans five counties, CHS employs more than 4,600 employees. The Health System includes three hospitals, several outpatient care centers, and a network of more than 100 physicians that serves forty locations throughout the region. The flagship hospital, Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, is the most technologically sophisticated hospital between Pittsburgh and Hershey and has been repeatedly recognized for clinical outcomes among the best in the nation. Conemaugh Memorial is home to the highest level trauma center and neonatal intensive care unit.
About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.
For More Information, Please Contact:
Amy Bradley, Director of Public Affairs
Phone: (814) 534-3121