The American Stroke Association recently awarded Dixie Regional Medical Center its Get With The GuidelinesSM–Stroke (GWTG–Stroke) Silver Performance Achievement Award at the association’s International Stroke Conference 2009. The award recognizes Dixie Regional’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to evidence-based guidelines.
“In treating stroke, time to treatment is a key factor in predicting patient outcomes,” said Dr. Brett Christiansen, medical director for the hospital’s stroke program. “Receiving the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award shows that Dixie Regional is taking action to treat its stroke patients quickly and effectively.”
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Stroke Association, approximately 795,000 people each year experience a new or recurrent stroke. Stroke is also a leading cause of disability.
Through GWTG-Stroke, Dixie Regional is tracking comprehensive efforts to rapidly diagnose and treat stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having appropriate medical providers available to conduct patient evaluations, and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.
“Our goal in participating in the Get With The Guidelines program is to save lives,” said Dr. Christiansen. “Our greatest reward is serving our patients. That’s why we’re committed to turning treatment guidelines into lifelines.”
To receive the GWTG-Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award, Dixie Regional consistently complied for at least one year with the requirements in the GWTG–Stroke program. These include aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs, and smoking cessation. This twelve-month evaluation period reflects an ongoing effort of the hospital to continually maintain 85 percent compliance required for an award.
“The American Stroke Association recognizes Dixie Regional for successfully implementing proven standards of care for stroke treatment,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., vice chair of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and vice chairman of the Neurology department at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “By meeting Get With The Guidelines Silver Performance Achievement Award criteria, Dixie Regional demonstrates its active effort to improve the outcomes of the stroke patients it serves and save more lives.”
The GWTG Patient Management Tool provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care. It is a comprehensive program that provides an online interactive assessment and report tool, resources, quarterly workshops, training, and feedback to staff at participating hospitals. The goal is to improve implementation of evidence-based interventions that are proven to reduce complications after stroke and the chances of a subsequent stroke or heart attack.
For more information on the Get With The Guidelines program, visit Get with the guidelines stroke program from the American Heart Association.