Lee Memorial Health System’s four acute care hospitals are being recognized by the American Heart Association for implementing Get With The Guidelines stroke treatment protocol. Get With The Guidelines helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based protocol that are proven to speed recovery and reduce death and disability for stroke patients.
“Time is brain when it comes to stroke. We are honored that each of our hospitals are being acknowledged for their commitment to swift and effective treatment, ultimately providing the best possible outcomes for patients,” says Jim Nathan, President of Lee Memorial Health System.
Lee Memorial Hospital, HealthPark Medical Center, Gulf Coast Medical Center and Cape Coral Hospital all received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award. This is the third award of its kind for Gulf Coast Medical Center and a first for Cape Coral Hospital which received designation as a Primary Stroke Center in September of 2013.
Each of Lee Memorial Health System’s acute care hospitals earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.
Lee Memorial Hospital, Cape Coral Hospital and Gulf Coast Medical Center also received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. People who suffer a stroke who receive the drug within three hours of the onset of symptoms may recover quicker and are less likely to suffer severe disability.
“We are pleased to recognize Lee Memorial Health System for their commitment and dedication to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., 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 patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care.”
Get With The Guidelines–Stroke also helps hospital staff implement prevention measures, which include educating stroke patients to manage their risk factors and to be aware of warning signs for stroke, and ensuring they take their medications properly. Hospitals can make customized patient education materials available upon discharge, based on the patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format in either English or Spanish.
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four 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.