NEENAH, Wis. – ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah has achieved the American Heart Association’s Gold Plus Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke and Target: Stroke with Advanced Therapy Honor Roll Quality Achievement Awards. The awards recognize 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.
“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,” explained Mark Cockley, MD, ThedaCare’s Chief Clinical Officer and President of the Clinically Integrated Network. “Our teams 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. The tools and resources help our teams understand each person’s unique medical background and provide appropriate levels of 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, the certification designed for those hospitals that have specific abilities to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases.
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.
Each year program participants apply for the Association’s award recognition by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. 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.
In addition to the Gold Plus Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Award, TheadaCare also received the Association’s Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Advanced Therapy award. For this award, hospitals successfully treated at least 50% of qualified stroke patients within 90 minutes of arriving directly to their facility and within 60 minutes of arriving by EMS transport.
“Again, time is of the essence in treating a stroke,” said Dr. Cockley. “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.”
“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. 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.
“To provide best outcomes for our communities, our teams are committed to working together to deliver coordinated stroke care with extreme efficiency,” said Dr. Cockley. “These recognitions from the American Heart Association underscore our commitment to providing all patients the level of expertise they deserve.”