Heart and Stroke Services Honored with National Awards

Janet Frank

 (801) 357-7766

 janet.frank@imail.org

 6/30/2009

June 30 — PROVO — Residents in Utah County with risk factors for heart disease or stroke may be interested in some significant recognition recently issued by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association for Utah Valley Regional Medical Center’s Heart and Stroke services teams.

The hospital is among relatively few other hospitals in the region which received the 2009 “Get With The Guidelines” awards by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. The Intermountain Healthcare hospital in Provo received a GWTG Gold Performance Achievement Award for its stroke services while its heart services received a Silver Performance Achievement Award.

For heart services, the silver award means Utah Valley Regional has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85 percent compliance for one year to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology. For the hospital’s stroke services, the gold award means the Stroke Team at Utah Valley Regional maintained above 85 percent compliance on ASA’s seven required stroke quality measures for 24 consecutive months.

“This is a remarkable accomplishment for our hospital and illustrates our commitment to providing exceptional care to each patient at the hospital,” said John Mitchell, MD, medical director of the cardiovascular surgery program at Utah Valley Regional. “Essentially, this recognition affirms that for patients who receive treatment here for heart disease or a stroke, the hospital’s team of caregivers is helping chart a course to a healthy, proper recovery.”

Get With The Guidelines is a quality improvement initiative that provides hospital staff with tools that follow proven evidence-based guidelines and procedures in caring for heart failure and stroke patients to prevent future hospitalizations. Hospitals, physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers who use GWTG are armed with the latest evidence-based guidelines for patient care. That means patients can know the treatment they receive is best-practice medicine—proven to produce the best possible outcome.

Carl Black, MD, an interventional radiologist and co-medical director of the Utah Valley Regional Stroke Team, sees great benefit in GWTG because of its encouragement of hospitals to be more proactive in their approach to achieving excellence in stroke care.

“Receiving recognition from the American Stroke Association further validates our efforts to always provide cutting-edge, proven treatment practices for our stroke patients,” said Dr. Black. “By putting into action the specific measures and standards outlined by the American Stroke Association, we’re able to make a real difference in our patients’ length and quality of life.”

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.2 million people suffer from heart failure. The American Stroke Association reports that each year approximately 700,000 people suffer a stroke. The goal of the GWTG program is to help hospitals implement appropriate evidence-based care and protocols that will reduce disability and the number of deaths in these patients.
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