|Via Christi’s Stroke Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award — the organization’s highest award for stroke care.
“This award is a wonderful recognition of the work of our outstanding team of employees who are dedicated to doing their best to care for stroke patients by ensuring that evidence-based care processes are consistently delivered,” said Sherry Hausmann, president of Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis.
To receive the award, Via Christi met each of the program’s stroke measures at 85 percent or higher for 24 consecutive months and ranked 75 percent or higher for additional quality measures, such as admit National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale; aggressive use of medications such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy and cholesterol reducing drugs; and smoking cessation — all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.
“In patients with an acute stroke, prompt recognition, treatment and secondary prevention are critical,” said Jim Walker, MD, medical director of the Stroke Center. “Via Christi is committed to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care.”
Via Christi Hospital will be recognized during the International Stroke Conference in February and listed in the March edition of Stroke magazine and the July “Best Hospitals” issue of U.S. News & World Report. In October, Via Christi was named to HealthGrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Stroke Care in 2012.
“Stroke measures are evidence-based practice guidelines that are shown to improve patient outcomes after a stroke,” said Sarah Brown, RN, BSN, Stroke Program coordinator. “Achieving this type of award requires a team approach among physicians, nurses, pharmacists, rehabilitation staff, etc., and demonstrates that consistent processes are in place to ensure every patient receives the same standard of care.”
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 health care 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.
According to the AHA/ASA, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the U.S. 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.