American Heart Association Award Recognizes Commitment to Quality Stroke Care
September 30, 2020
NEENAH, Wis. – ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah has achieved the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Target: Stroke Honor Roll Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
“We are dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Mark Cockley, MD, ThedaCare’s Chief Clinical Officer and President of the Clinically Integrated Network. “The tools and resources help our teams understand each person’s unique medical background and current presentation for treatment. This allows the ThedaCare team to quickly provide the most appropriate research proven treatment. Our goal is to ensure people are able to get back to living their best life, sooner.”
ThedaCare is certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, reflecting the highest level of competence for treatment of serious stroke events. The certification affirms that ThedaCare addresses the full spectrum of stroke care – diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and education – and establishes clear metrics to evaluate outcomes. Comprehensive stroke centers are typically the best-equipped hospitals in a given geographical area that can treat any kind of stroke or stroke complication. In a growing number of states, stroke center certification determines to which facility a patient should be taken for the most appropriate, reimbursable care.
“By enhancing that coordinated care, we can live our mission of improving the health of the communities, creating peace of mind for all we serve,” said Dr. Cockley. “With stroke care, it is important to have the best teams and resources, and the ability to act organizationally with extreme efficiency because of the time-critical nature of these events. This certification underscores our commitment to providing all patients the level of expertise they deserve.”
ThedaCare 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 evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery, reducing death and disability, and establishing a treatment plan to help stroke patients maximize their recovery and prevent future chances for similar events. Before discharge, patients also receive education on managing their health and schedule a follow up visit, as well as other care transition interventions.
“We are pleased to recognize ThedaCare for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates nearly 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year, with 140,000 deaths resulting. Strokes – especially ischemic strokes, which block blood flow to the brain – are the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., per the CDC.
Don’t Delay Stroke Care
Hospitals and emergency medical facilities nationally are reporting a significant decrease in the number of patients presenting with stroke symptoms during the current coronavirus pandemic.
“We work hard to keep our patients safe every day, and we want those who think they are having a stroke to feel safe at our hospitals, especially during this time,” said Dr. Cockley. “Again, time is of the essence in treating a stroke. The longer someone waits to receive medical attention, treatment options decrease and disability conditions increase. Delaying emergency care is not an option, and all members of the community should know they can turn to our team for safe emergency stroke care.”
The American Heart Association and ThedaCare are community partners in the first Life is Why sponsorship in Wisconsin. Life is Why is a national brand element which emphasizes an emotional connection to the work of the AHA. The campaign encourages people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds to consider what or who they are living for and turn that into their personal motivation for making lifestyle changes that add up to healthier, happier and longer lives with the ones they love.
About Get With The Guidelines®
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 6 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org.